Binswanger Glass, Action Auto Glass, Auto Glass of New England Hamden and Goulet Glass, doing business as Sullivan Glass, have all filed motions to quash document and witness subpoenas from Columbus, Ohio-based Safelite over Connecticut’s anti-steering law.
Judge Janet Bond Arterton, in turn, issued an order writing, “This matter is referred to Magistrate Judge Joan Glazer Margolis for all discovery purposes.”
In a documents’ subpoena, Safelite asked Binswanger for four items:
—All documents concerning PA 13-67 (an Act Concerning Automotive Glass Work) and the expected or intended benefit of PA 13-67, including but not limited to (a) all of your internal communications and (b) all communications between or among you, the state and any third party.
—All documents concerning plaintiffs, including but not limited to plaintiffs’ communications with policyholders, the manner in which plaintiffs refer policyholders to automotive glass repair shops and any contractual or other relationship between you and plaintiffs.
—All documents concerning any automotive glass claims administrator, including but not limited to the automotive glass claims administrator’s communications with policyholders, the manner in which it refers to policy holders to AGRR shops and any contractual agreements or other relationships between you and each automotive glass claims administrator.
—Documents sufficient to show the amount of money you spent advertising your glass repair or replacement services in each of the last five years.
Binswanger responded to the subpoena with a “written objection to your request to produce certain documents.”
In its letter the company objected to each request and noted, “All documents concerning plaintiffs would also appear to include all work orders, invoices and electronic dispatches for each job performed for all auto glass claims administrators. It is unreasonable and unduly burdensome to request Binswanger Glass, as a non-party to the underlying civil action, to produce all work orders, invoices and electronic dispatches performed for multiple auto glass claims administrators.”
In a follow-up letter, the company’s counsel writes, “Without waiving our previous objections, Binswanger Glass is not in possession, custody or control of any documents responsive to your request [concerning PA 13-67, the efforts to enact the law and the expected benefits].”
In reference to Safelite’s request for all documents concerning to automotive glass claims administrators communications, Binswanger sent a copy of Safelite’s Addendum to Network Participation Agreement dated July 26, 2012.
Binswanger’s counsel also objected to the request for advertising information; however, it sent Safelite an affidavit of Williams Collins, operations controller, outlining advertising expenses for Binswanger Glass.
Binswanger Glass spent approximately $2.4 million on advertising its “full line of glass repair and replacement services between June of 2011 and July of 2014.”
“Such advertising expenses also include relevant sales and promotional expenses,” Collins writes.
In response to the written objection, Safelite issued a witness subpoena, according to Binswanger.
“This undated subpoena seeks to have movant identify a representative of the movant to testify as to the subjects which it has previously requested through the first subpoena,” Binswanger’s attorney writes.
“[T]he plaintiff has not sought an order to compel production of the documents to which the movant objected to … and is using the subpoena process to accomplish indirectly what it could not do directly; that is to discover information in documents, which the movant has previously objected to concerning movant’s business practices and relationship with plaintiff’s competitors,” the company’s counsel claims.
Binswanger has asked the U.S. District Court for Connecticut to “quash the witness subpoena.”
“Movant prays that upon final hearing hereon that the court grant this motion and order the plaintiff not issue further subpoenas requesting the same documents or information to which movant has previous objected and award such further relief to which movant may be entitled to receive,” Binswanger’s attorney writes in the motion to quash.
After Action Glass, Auto Glass of New England Hamden and Goulet Glass also sent a letters objecting to the document subpoenas they received from Safelite, the Columbus, Ohio-based company issued witness subpoenas to all three companies.
The companies responded by asking the court to quash the witness subpoenas.
Safelite had not responded to the motions to quash at press time.
The company sued state Attorney General George Jepsen and Thomas Leonardi, state insurance commissioner, and asked for an injunction to halt enforcement of Public Act 13-67. After the District Court judge decided against an immediate injunction to halt enforcement, Safelite appealed this decision to the Appellate Court. A hearing was held at the Appellate level in late May and a decision has not yet been handed down.
To view Binswanger’s motion to quash, click here.
To view Action Glass’ motion to quash, click here.
To view Auto Glass of New England Hamden’s motion to quash, click here.
To view Goulet Glass’ motion to quash, click here.