Judge Grants and Denies Parts of Mediation Extension Request in Ongoing Lawsuit

A Florida Middle Court Judge ruled to grant and dismiss portions of Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company and Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company (collectively Allstate)’s request for additional time prior to its scheduled mediation with defendants, Auto Glass America LLC (AGA) and its owner, Charles Isaly in their ongoing legal feud.

Earlier this week Allstate requested an extension until July 31, 2020, due to COVID-19’s expanding impact. According to Allstate’s motion, the requested date is 15 days after the discovery deadline. The mediation date was previously scheduled for March 23, 2020.

The defendants acknowledged COVID-19’s impact and suggested rather than continuing the mediation, the parties and their counsel should instead proceed with the scheduled mediation by remote electronic means, according to court documents. The presiding judge agreed that more time should be allotted, but did not agree to Allstate’s requested date.

“Upon a review of the parties’ submissions, the court finds that an extension of the mediation deadline is warranted. However, the court does not find a four-month extension (which takes the mediation deadline beyond the discovery deadline) is appropriate at this time,” a portion of the court’s order reads. “The Court will therefore extend the mediation deadline until May 29, 2020 and expects the parties to confer in a good faith effort to reschedule mediation on a mutually agreeable date. By extending the mediation deadline by two months, this will hopefully alleviate the travel concerns caused by the COVID-19 virus, as well as account for the well-taken concerns about managing litigation costs.”

The judge also denied the defendant’s request to meet electronically for mediation, as moot. According to the judge’s order, the request to appoint a new mediator has been granted.

Case Background

The lawsuit began with Allstate’s complaint alleging that both AGA and Isaly allegedly pressured its insureds into hiring them for windshield replacements, while obtaining assignment of benefits (AOBs). The lawsuit began to heat up, as AGA and Isaly responded to Allstate’s emergency motion 24 hours before the presiding judge issued an order. To which AGA and Isaly filed another motion against Allstate. Shortly after a mediation was scheduled.

The insurance company previously urged the court to deny AGA and Isaly’s motion to compel Allstate to provide its pricing agreements. Allstate cited confidentiality as its reason for not providing its pricing agreements. However the presiding judge ordered the insurance company to produce its pricing agreements.

From there AGA and Isaly responded to Allstate’s emergency protective order. The presiding judge then issued an order regarding the emergency motion. Earlier this week Allstate requested additional time to meet with the defendants for mediation, to which the judge granted parts and dismissed parts.

Look to a future edition of glassBYTEs for continued coverage of the suit.

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