A November 1, 2021 trial date has been set by the U.S. District Court in Orlando, Fla., in the long running Allstate v. Auto Glass America litigation.
At a Status Conference held last month with the parties District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza scheduled a Date Certain Jury Trial for Monday, November 1, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. A date certain jury trial usually means that the judge has set aside time for that particular case and no others. The designation also shows that the court expects that the trial will last for approximately three weeks.
The case, in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, is officially designated as Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, and Allstate Property and Casualty (Allstate) v. Auto Glass America, LLC and its owner Charles Islay. (AGA) Allstate filed the lawsuit in December 2018, alleging that Auto Glass America (AGA) had engaged in a plan to unlawfully obtain payment for excessive and/or unreasonable charges by submitting inflated invoices which the insurer paid at a reduced rate (a practice known as short-rating). Allstate also alleged AGA would then sue them when it paid less than the invoice amount. AGA later filed a counterclaim against Allstate.
In its original complaint, Allstate argued AGA filed more than 1,400 lawsuits against it and that the replacements were performed without notice to Allstate after insureds hired AGA. Allstate contends that AGA billed it, on average, $900 per invoice for the period of January 1, 2015, through September 30, 2018. Meanwhile, the insurer reports that the average invoice amount for all other glass vendors in Florida during the same time frame was $350.
The case, now going on for nearly two and a half years, has produced hundreds of motions on pretrial matters involving witnesses and documents on such as issues as confidentiality, admissibility, and interpretation of the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as well as generating additional claims and counter claims. It is being played out in the State of Florida where auto glass companies and insurance companies have long butted heads over assignment of benefits claims and industry practices on both sides. If the schedule goes forward as planned, the trial in the case should be over by Thanksgiving.