Auto Glass America LLC (AGA) and its owner, Charles Isaly, filed another motion to compel stating Allstate Insurance Company (Allstate) “needs to provide better answers to AGA’s first set of interrogatories served.”
“Defendant [and counter plaintiff AGA], respectfully requests that this court enter an order compelling plaintiff (Allstate) to provide full and complete responses and responsive documents to the discovery requests, awarding defendant fees and costs incurred in bringing this motion, and for such other relief as this Court deems equitable and just,” a portion of the motion to compel document reads.
According to previously filed court documents, on October 8, 2019, the defendants (AGA and Isaly) served upon the plaintiff (Allstate) 11 interrogatories. One month later Allstate both answered and objected to some of the written questions. The objections however, were on questions that sought additional information regarding reimbursements made by Allstate “for the same types of parts and labor that AGA provided to its customers who happen to be insured by Allstate.”
“The complaint is largely premised on a questionable theory that defendant knowingly charges excessive and inflated prices for parts and labor which exceed what plaintiffs consider to be competitive in the automotive windshield replacement industry. Despite the specious nature of this allegation, Allstate has steadfastly refused to produce any data establishing what other area glass shops charge, including those who are not bound by in-network pricing and those with whom Allstate has direct negotiated-rate contracts,” a portion of the motion to compel document reads.
AGA also claims it tried to obtain the sought after information from Allstate without going through the courts by having multiple telephone conferences and email exchanges. The company was unsuccessful in obtaining the requested information and stated it saw filing another motion as a means to defend itself.
“AGA has no choice but to seek this court’s assistance in obtaining this crucial information that AGA obviously needs to defend itself,” a portion of the motion to compel reads.
According to a previous motion to compel, the defendants asked Allstate whether it has reimbursed any glass providers for Florida glass claims in an amount equal to or greater than 100% of NAGS list price for windshield glass for the years 2014-2018.
Allstate responded by saying, “the information sought in this request is included in documents being produced by plaintiffs pursuant to a highly confidential/attorneys’ eyes only designation.”
AGA and Isaly responded by alleging the insurance company is trying to avoid answering questions needed in this suit.
“In other words, plaintiff takes the position that it can appropriately refer to documents in response to an interrogatory and then either not produce the documents or simply get around to it at its leisure. The plaintiff cannot avoid answers by imposing on the interrogating defendant a mass of documents from which answers cannot be ascertained because plaintiff contumaciously refuses to provide those documents,” AGA and Isaly state.
The second question stated “if you answered yes to [question] 1, please identify each glass provider who you reimbursed an amount equal to or greater than 100% of the NAGS list price for windshield glass by name, address, amount charged and reimbursed for the windshield glass, and the dates on which reimbursement was made.”
When Allstate provided the same response of “the information sought in this request is included in documents being produced by plaintiffs pursuant to a highly confidential/attorneys’ eyes only designation,” AGA and Isaly responded with another request for a “complete answer.”
“AGA is being stone-walled and deprived of any opportunity to take follow-up discovery based on the information regarding charge and reimbursement data regarding other area glass shops. Allstate apparently intends to hide its secret “pricing-deals” with preferred shops and amounts charged by non-network shops while simultaneously alleging that the AGA’s charges are too high,” a portion of the motion to compel reads.
The third question requested Allstate to state whether it reimbursed any glass providers for Florida windshield replacement claims in an amount over $85.00 per hour for labor during the years 2014-2018. Allstate issued the same responses it gave for the first two questions.
The final question, If you answered yes to 3, please identify each glass provider who You reimbursed an amount equal to or greater than $85.00 per hour for labor by name, address, amount charged and amount reimbursed for the windshield glass, and the dates on which reimbursement was made, was met with the same “confidential response from Allstate.
To which AGA and Isaly maintain, “Allstate should be compelled to properly answer the interrogatories.”
The case began last December when Allstate filed a suit that alleged AGA and Isaly, “tried to pressure Allstate’s insureds into hiring them for windshield replacements, obtaining assignments of benefits (AOBs) from insureds, submitting invoices to Allstate for excessive and unreasonable amounts and fil[ing] over 1,400 lawsuits for recovery of excessive and unreasonable amounts.” The court responded to a previous motion to dismiss, along with setting a mediation date for March 2020.
Following the set mediation date, AGA and Isaly filed a motion to compel in order to get answers for some of its outstanding questions, to which Allstate responded. In Allstate’s response several of the questions were deemed irrelevant from the insurance company and were not answered fully, according to AGA.
Currently both AGA and Isaly are seeking “better answers to its first set of interrogatories, as well as being awarded compensation for accruing legal fees. Allstate has yet to respond to the recently filed motion to compel. Look to a future edition of glassBYTEs for ongoing coverage of this suit.