A trial brief filed by Allstate Insurance last month in its litigation against Auto Glass America and its owner, Charles Isaly, (AGA) gave an indication of how contentious the litigation has been. The case was filed in December 2018, and the brief filed in March previews the specific evidence that Allstate will be presenting at trial.
Allstate outlined the significant legal disputes that will play out in the courtroom. Issues include their request for equitable relief, both declaratory and injunctive, use of voluminous documents, use of confidential and highly confidential documents, and claims for attorney fees.
But it is Allstate’s description of the factual evidence that it plans to present at trial that provides a preview of the case that the insurance giant is going to make against what it views as a bad actor in the auto glass business.
Allstate states that Auto Glass America (AGA) is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., but operates exclusively in Florida with Charles Islay as its’ sole owner. The brief states that “Allstate claims that Defendants have created a business model designed to force insurers like Allstate to pay excessive amounts for windshield replacements that they would never be able to collect in a competitive environment.”
Allstate tells the court that it will presenting evidence. It alleges that:
- AGA False Advertising – AGA website falsely claims it uses OEM windshields, certified technicians, and pays up to $150 for the customer’s used windshield.
- AGA Sales Representatives – Sales reps act as “harvesters” approaching customers in parking lots, at businesses, fairs, and door-to-door. Allstate alleges the company provides no training, oversight or instructions and sales reps only receive compensation when potential customer proceeds with a windshield replacement. It alleges that reps do not secure home solicitation permits nor follow state and federal home solicitation rules. Reps fail to inform Allstate’s insured about Allstate’s claims process and its right to inspect and appraise windshield.
- No Reporting of Claims – The insurer claims that AGA refuses to report claims through Allstate’s 3rd party administrator, Safelite Solutions, to prevent Allstate from exercising its rights as the insurer.
- Assignment of Benefits – It says AGA technicians present work orders to customers that do not show prices and they only explain the assignment of benefits language on the form if specifically asked.
- Repair versus Replacement – AGA has not performed any windshield repairs since 2014, performing more expensive windshields replacements in all circumstances.
- AGA Pricing – AGA prices are arbitrary, and Allstate is charged more than any other insurer.
- Aga Lawsuits – AGA has filed 1,400 lawsuits against Allstate, all in Florida’s small claims courts.
The case is scheduled for trial in the U.S. District Court in Orlando, Fla. on November 1, 2021.