The Connecticut Attorney General and automotive glass companies who supported the state’s Act Concerning Automotive Glass Work (Public Act 13-67) are now analyzing what their next step will be after the Second Circuit Court handed down a decision to temporarily halt enforcement of the statute.
“We are currently reviewing the Second Circuit’s decision and will determine any next steps in the case,” says Jaclyn Falkowski, director of communications for the office of the Attorney General.
“We were disappointed in the ruling and thought the District Court got it right,” says Steve Wright, an attorney with Goldman Gruder & Woods, who is representing six of the automotive glass companies subpoenaed by Safelite in the legal battle over the new law.
“We don’t agree that the consumer is protected from the steering that the statute was trying to prevent,” he adds. “Perhaps the statute needs to be tweaked a bit legislatively to not run afoul of the standard of the review the Second Circuit Court took. We think that consumers are not protected when you have a third-party administrator referring themselves.”
“We don’t think the judges understood the complexity of the situation … that if you call an insurer for glass work you get a Safelite commercial,” Wright claims.
He says it is “rather rare” that the state gets enjoined from enforcing a law on a preliminary basis.
“However, the court felt [Safelite’s argument] met the standard for the likelihood of success,” Wright indicates.
His clients now want to meet with the Attorney General to explore the options.
“They could go back to the legislators since the court’s opinion suggested some less restrictive ways such a statute would not run afoul of protected commercial free speech,” he explains.
He also notes the Attorney General could appeal the Second Circuit Court’s decision.
So what does this mean for the subpoenas Safelite sent to automotive glass companies and at least one association?
“It depends. We might not have to go to deposition,” Wright says.
The legal battle will still take some time to play out, he notes.