Florida Judge Gives Collision Repair Shops Deadline

A group of Florida collision repair shops have told the U.S District Court judge that they plan to amend their complaint against dozens of insurers, which alleges the insurers use their direct repair programs to illegally control and depress rates. The complaint alleges that if the shops don’t comply, customers are steered away. The judge has ordered the plaintiffs to file their motion by March 27, 2015, writing that “the motion, if granted, would moot several motions [by insurers] to dismiss that will soon be ripe for consideration.”

In their complaint, the collision repair shops also allege the insurers require the use of aftermarket parts, such as aftermarket replacement windshields.

“Plaintiffs indicated that they would in the near future file a motion for leave to file a third-amended complaint to delete parties and allege new facts,” the judge writes. “Defendants stated they would likely oppose such a motion. … Upon due consideration, it is ordered that plaintiffs have until March 27, 2015 to file a motion for leave to amend. If the motion is not filed by that date, the court will assume that plaintiffs do not wish to file a third-amended complaint. This order does not alter any deadlines for responses or replies to responses to the pending motions to dismiss.”

Responses by the collision repair shops to insurers’ latest motions to dismiss are due by March 13, 2015, according to the U.S. District Court judge for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando division.

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