Caleb Brickey hit an individual’s vehicle in early June 2014. That is not in debate. What is in debate is who will cover the full cost to repair the vehicle? Columbus, Ohio-based Three-C Body Shop, which worked on the vehicle, says Brickey should cover the cost if his insurance company won’t.
The collision repair shop alleges Brickey’s insurer, Allstate, has “short paid” the company and has sued Brickey in the Municipal Court of Franklin County, Ohio, for the difference.
“On or about June 3, 2014, defendant [Caleb Brickey] failed to yield to oncoming traffic while turning and as a result, struck a 2005 Jeep Liberty owned by Andrew Kirk,” according to court documents.
Kirk took his vehicle to Three-C and signed an agreement authorizing repairs.
“An initial estimate of the work was prepared but as work progressed, additional repairs were required to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition,” according to Three-C’s attorneys.
The cost for repairs was $5,687.83. Allstate paid $3,585.43, “but refused to pay for all necessary repairs to return Kirk’s vehicle to pre-accident condition,” according to the court documents.
In addition to signing an agreement authorizing repairs, Kirk provided Three-C with a power of attorney to collect services not paid under the agreement and repair authorization.
“A balance of $2,102.40 remains unpaid for the work performed by Three-C,” according to the attorneys.
Three-C’s attorneys claim the defendant “owed a duty to avoid damaging property owned by Kirk.”
“Kirk assigned his rights to collect for the remaining damages to his vehicle arising from defendant’s negligence to Three-C by virtue of the agreement and authorization for repairs by executing a power of attorney. Three-C suffered damages as a direct and proximate result of defendant’s action in the amount of $2,102.40 plus costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees, prejudgment and post-judgment interest,” according to the court documents.
Three-C asked the court for a judgment against the defendant for damages in the amount of $2,102.40 plus costs, interest at the statutory rate, attorneys’ fees and any other relief deemed necessary or appropriate by the court.
Though another party is not often responsible for vehicle glass damage, allegations of short pays from insurers have surfaced in the AGRR industry. Would an automotive glass company owner make a similar move to sue an individual over an alleged “short pay?”
“If someone threw a rock at Debbie’s windshield and her insurance company ‘short paid’ me, I am not going after the customers or individuals. I might go after the insurance company,” says Linda Rollinson of Superior Auto Glass of Tampa Bay. “There has to be an assignment of benefits. I personally would not go after customers.”
“In Minnesota, we are against suing the owner of the damaged vehicle because we believe it is a breach of the insurance policy, which is why we sue the insurance company [over ‘short pays’]” explains Rick Rosar, owner of Rapid Glass in Minnesota.
Melissa Martin, owner of Wisefly Auto Glass with a branch in Georgia and California, says she tries to always put herself in the place of her customers.
“The policyholder is paying premiums thinking they are covered. I sure wouldn’t go after the customer. I just can’t fault the customer,” she says.
To view a copy of the lawsuit Three-C has filed against Brickey, click here.
What do you think? Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.