IGA to Spearhead Lawsuit Against Networks and TPAs.

COLUMBUS, April 30—The Independent Glass Association announced today that it will help facilitate a lawsuit against networks, third party administrators (TPAs) and appropriate insurance companies. “A major lawsuit is going to happen,” said IGA vice president Marc Anderson. “It’s time independents let a federal judge decide if the frustrations we have with these groups are violations of the law. Let’s see what a federal judge says out it.”

“We are going to stopped being pushed around by people who may be operating illegally,” he added, “and we are not going to wait a long time either. The suit will be filed in the summer, fall latest.”

Anderson said his association of approximately 1,000 independent glass retailers, located predominately in the United States, has spent more than a year studying the issue and interviewing lawyers. “While the IGA does not install glass and therefore cannot sue any of these entities itself, it can help facilitate such efforts and bring them to fruition.”

Anderson also said that IGA has embarked on a major fundraising campaign for monies to be used for legal fees for the lawsuit. “The only way we won’t go forward is if independents don’t feel it’s a good way to go and don’t contribute. If we don’t get contributions, then we will refund 90 percent of everything contributed, having used the other ten percent for the fundraising. This is not going to drag on.”

By the end of the day, it seemed members were talking with their wallets as board members reported a large number of contributions had already been received.

Anderson also introduced the new attorney for the IGA board of directors, Tom Goodman of Siegel, Bull, Grieper, Duffy and Foster in Minnesota. Goodman told of a case in which he recently represented a glass company that had more than 5,700 short paid invoices. What kind of industry practices lets one company go through that?” he asked.

Goodman said that the exact legal strategy had not yet been finalized, but the Anderson was the right person to lead the charge. “Marc has served two tours of duty in Vietnam, he has run his own advocacy programs and has run a glass shop for ten years. There is no better person to lead this charge.”

Anderson added that he expected there to be a major lawsuit and then “clusters of lawsuits” in selected places. “People have to understand that steering and pricing and two sides of the same coin. In order for large companies to be able to offer low pricing, it must have volume. Steering is a volume issue.”

Reaction from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. AGRR and glassbytes wil keep you informed.

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