Jerri Joan Johnson of Laurel, Md., has brought a complaint against Chicago-based Archer Western Contractors and Safelite Group in the U.S. District Court of Maryland. She alleges that a stone from a construction company truck hit and damaged the backlite of her 2004 Hummer H2. The company took responsibility and sent a Safelite AutoGlass technician out to replace the backlite, she claims; however, she alleges Safelite caused damage to her vehicle which it “refuses to fix.”
“Archer Western employee Michael Anzaldo apologized and arranged for defendant Safelite Group to replace the H2’s rear window,” according to court documents.
“On Monday, July 21, 2014, defendant Safelite sent an employee of theirs to the resident of plaintiff pro se to replace the H2’s rear window. Upon arrival, the defendant’s Safelite employee noticed that the H2 replacement window that he had was the wrong window. He then stated to plaintiff pro see that he had the wrong window and the right window, the window necessary, was a ‘special order’ window, and that defendant Safelite would need to place such an order,” according to court documents.
Johnson claims on July 23, 2014, Safelite sent another technician with the correct backlite. He replaced the backlite that day; however “at some point during the replacement of the window, the defendant Safelite’s employee broke the exterior H2 rear door handle,” she alleges in court documents.
“Defendant Safelite’s employee stated to plaintiff pro se that he had broken off the exterior H2 rear door handle and that he had called his boss and arranged for a replacement H2 rear door handle to be ordered and that he would return to the residence of plaintiff pro see on another day to replace said door handle,” according to court documents.
The following week, Johnson claims a Safelite technician returned to replace her door handle.
“Eventually, defendant Safelite’s employee managed to replace said door handle, but not before slightly cracking the rear door’s interior cover which is only plastic,” she alleged in her complaint.
Whenever she drove the vehicle after this, an interior light would come on as if the rear door was open, Johnson claims. In response, she contacted Archer Western and Safelite to report the issue.
Safelite apparently encouraged Johnson to take the vehicle to a GMC Auto Nation Service Station and a GMC representative called Safelite to report the vehicle needed an actuator.
“On August 19, 2014 GMC Auto Nation Service Station representative Mia called plaintiff pro se and stated that defendant Safelite’s adjuster Mr. Shullar instructed GMC Auto Nation Service Station to do nothing to the vehicle and return it to the plaintiff pro se because ‘it was simply broken glass which had gotten down inside the rear door’ and that this broken glass was causing the vehicle to show ‘rear access open’ on the dash board, the interior lights to come on as if the rear door was open and the bell to ring signaling a door was open,” according to court documents.
Safelite would not pay for repairs because company officials claimed they were not responsible, Johnson claimed. She claimed Safelite said Archer Western was responsible because it was their truck that was carrying the stone that broke the window.
In the court documents, Johnson’s attorney pointed out Safelite has a warranty which states that “every Safelite service is guaranteed by [the company’s] national warranty for as long as [the plaintiff] owns the vehicle.”
“Defendant Safelite’s Service Guarantee has a ‘5-Point Service Pledge,’ which states that “[they] will fully protect the interior and exterior of the vehicle [they] are working on.’ It goes on to state that they ‘[will] vacuum all broken auto glass after [they] complete the work,” according to the court documents.
Johnson’s attorney argues Safelite was responsible for removing the glass that got inside the door and if that is what is causing the issue, it would be fixed.
Johnson is seeking damages from both Safelite and the construction company and wants them to replace her 2004 Hummer H2 with a new vehicle of like luxury. She also has asked the court for “lost wages and costs associated with this entire ordeal and those costs associated with the loss of private transportation in the amount of $20,000.”
She asked the court for “damages in the amount of $80,000 due to the fact the defendants’ were indifferent to the safety of the plaintiff pro se when they instructed GMAC Auto Nation Service Station to return the H2 to her without repairing the problem.”
In its motion to dismiss, Safelite’s attorneys claim the company is not responsible for the glass in the door.
“This matter must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,” Safelite’s attorneys claim.
“As plaintiff’s damages were artificially inflated to surpass the jurisdictional amount, without legal justification, plaintiff should be assessed the costs associated with preparing and filing the present motion.”
Archer Western’s attorney also requested the complaint be dismissed with prejudice.
To read a copy of her complaint, click here.
To read a copy of Safelite’s response, click here.