Geico General Insurance Company has asked the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida Tampa Division to enter default judgment in its favor in the October 2016 lawsuit filed by VIP Auto Glass (VIP).
The auto glass shop was seeking class-action status against the insurer for allegedly violating Florida law by underpaying auto glass shops not affiliated with Safelite Retail facilities or participants in the Safelite Network.
In its memorandum in support of its motion for default judgment and sanctions, the insurer stated that VIP submitted a forged assignment of claims to the court, made multiple false statements in its pleadings and filings, submitted false discovery responses and testified falsely under oath in the case, all of which the court’s order had recognized previously.
Following VIP’s August counsel withdrawal, Judge Mary S. Scriven gave the shop 21 days to find replacement counsel or judgement would be filed against them. According to Geico’s motion, VIP has yet to find new representation.
“VIP has not obtained replacement counsel as directed by the Court. GEICO General is therefore is entitled to default judgement on the merits, for fraud upon the Court, and sanctions in the form or its costs and attorneys’ fees against VIP,” Geico attorney John Marino argued.
VIP motioned to dismiss the case without prejudice in July, but Scriven denied the motion, stating Geico had already expended considerable time and expense on the case.