A jury recently found Texas-based John Eagle Collision Center liable for injuries sustained by Matthew and Marcia Seebachan following a 2013 crash because a repair was not done according to OEM specifications, according to the verdict. Now, State Farm is in the spotlight for its alleged role in influencing that repair. The couple is suing for negligence and breach of warranty.
The lawsuit stems from a non-OEM roof repair, which used an adhesive instead of being welded as Honda’s specifications outlined. According to John Eagle’s director Boyce Willis, State Farm wouldn’t pay the shop unless the repair was done according to its specifications as opposed to Honda’s.
“No insurance company should ever dictate to a collision repair center or body shop how to repair a vehicle. To do so is extremely negligent, and shows a wanton disregard for human life and the safety of others,” said Todd Tracy, attorney for the plaintiffs. “John Eagle did not repair the subject 2010 Honda Fit to Honda’s body repair specifications due to State Farm’s instructions, threats, and/or coercion.”
State Farm attorneys have responded to the allegations, denying the insurer had any influence over the repair.
“To the extent alleged, Defendant denies that it coerced or enticed any body shop to not follow vehicle manufacturer’s procedures, cut corners, take safety shortcuts, or do anything that jeopardizes members of the motoring public,” the response reads. “Defendant denies that it forced John Eagle to use deadly, dangerous, unproven, and untested adhesive rather than welds. Defendant also denies that it forced John Eagle to do anything in violation of OEM requirements.”
State Farm is motioned to have the lawsuits dismissed, claiming the defense of unconstitutionality. A scheduling order for the case has yet to be filed.
To read State Farm’s response, click here.