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006-011:Layout 1 7/16/10 2:10 PM Page 6 ® INSURANCE-RELATED COURT CASES © Rough Notes Co., 2010 AUGUST 2010 • VOLUME 153, No. 8 Digested from case reports published in Westlaw, Staff West Publishing Co., St. Paul, MN Editor in Chief COURT DECISIONS Thomas A. McCoy firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Editor Nancy Doucette email@example.com Associate Editor Elisabeth Boone, CPCU firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor Dennis Pillsbury email@example.com Assistant Editor Elaine Tolen firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistant Alice A. Roettger Art Director/Photographer Paul B. Riley email@example.com Is reimbursement a In October 2007, GEICO sent bar to class action? Wallace a check for $387.56. The cover Graphic Designer letter accompanying the check stated: Linda A. Lange firstname.lastname@example.org On March 5, 2007, Carolyn “This payment is being made in Wallace’s car was damaged in an accordance with the [consent order].” Production/Advertising Coordinator automobile accident. Wallace obtained GEICO then argued that Wallace’s Georgianna Quinn an estimate of the repair costs and class action lawsuit could not proceed email@example.com presented it to her insurer, GEICO. because she had already obtained relief. Tricia Cutter GEICO informed her that it would not Wallace refused to accept the firstname.lastname@example.org pay the full amount because the check and argued that the lawsuit Circulation hourly charge for labor was in excess should be allowed to proceed. The Michelle Mason of what GEICO considered to be the trial court found that Wallace did email@example.com prevailing rate. Wallace went ahead not have standing to serve as with the repairs. In addition to her the class representative because Contributing Editors $500 deductible, she was forced to pay GEICO had paid her for her injury; Scott Addis an additional cost of $387.56, the however, it allowed her time to locate firstname.lastname@example.org difference between what GEICO was a substitute class representative. Robert L. Bailey willing to pay and the actual labor After considerable time passed and email@example.com costs she was charged. Wallace still had not located a desig- Adam DeGraide In April 2007, in response to nated class representative, the court firstname.lastname@example.org various complaints alleging that stayed the action pending her appeal of Kevin P. Hennosy GEICO had refused to reimburse labor its order striking the class allegations. email@example.com rates that it considered to be above the On appeal, Wallace argued that Emily Huling, CIC, CMC prevailing rate, GEICO entered into a she should be able to act as the firstname.lastname@example.org consent agreement with the California representative plaintiff in the class Patrick Linnert Department of Insurance. Pursuant to action lawsuit. GEICO argued that email@example.com that agreement, GEICO agreed, among she was no longer a member of the John Edward Love, CPCU other things, to conduct an internal class she sought to represent because firstname.lastname@example.org audit, and to reimburse any parties her injuries had been remedied by its Donald S. Malecki, CPCU who had complained that they had tender of payment of $387.56. email@example.com paid incremental repair costs resulting The Court of Appeal, Fourth Michael J. Moody, MBA, ARM from the difference in the labor rate District, Division 1, California, firstname.lastname@example.org charged by a repair shop and the acknowledged the general rule that Sean Neumayer amount paid by GEICO. Wallace had the named plaintiff in a class action email@example.com not filed a complaint, so she was not must be a member of the class he Kim Paterson one of the parties to be reimbursed purports to represent. The court then firstname.lastname@example.org under the consent agreement. noted, however, that where a Curtis M. Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA In August 2007, Wallace filed a defendant in a class action has forced email@example.com proposed class action complaint against a settlement on the representative Roger Sitkins GEICO alleging that GEICO’s refusal plaintiff after the lawsuit is filed, the firstname.lastname@example.org to pay the full cost of her repairs receipt of relief does not, of itself, Len Strazewski violated the California Insurance Code. prevent the class plaintiff from email@example.com The complaint also alleged breach of continuing as a class representative.
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