One of the avenues in which we’ve been working: total loss class action cases. Essentially, these cases concern claims against insurance companies after insured’s vehicles (that is, your insured vehicles) are declared a total loss due to collision, flood, fire or theft. When that happens, insurance companies are supposed to pay the “actual cash value” of the total-loss vehicle. Under Florida law and the policies, that means the “cost of replacement” which of course should include sales tax and tag/title fees (given that you can’t replace a vehicle without paying such fees and costs!) Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, we’ve found that many insurance companies do not include sales tax or mandatory tag/title transfer fees when paying such claims.
Many people have heard the term “class action” but don’t really know what it means. Here is how the Supreme Court of Florida has described a class action:
“Rather than have an unmanageable number of plaintiffs filing individual $20 lawsuits, this class action empowers the little guy and gives him leverage to fight an otherwise insurmountable foe. If plaintiff prevails, the big guy no longer lifts $20 from unsuspecting customers’ pockets, the plaintiffs are made whole, and justice can reign supreme.
Sosa v. Safeway Premium Fin. Co., 73 So. 3d 91, 114 (Fla. 2011)
Happily, we’ve had significant success prosecuting such claims. We’ve recently won class certification and summary judgment in a case against Geico General, where we represented over 4,000 insureds of leased vehicles whom Geico wrongfully underpaid for their total losses. Further, a lawsuit that we filed against State Farm – currently ongoing – resulted in State Farm paying over $4 million dollars to their insureds (our motion for class certification is currently pending). In both cases, we’ve faced the gauntlet – huge companies and defense firms pulling out every trick in the book to try to defeat our claims. But this fits with what we were saying earlier – fun, intellectually interesting cases with complicated motion practice and fun strategy sessions to try to protect consumers who otherwise had no recourse! We hope to continue to protect anyone else who has been denied the benefits paid for in insurance premiums against other insurance companies who do the same wrongful conduct. We now have similar cases against the biggest insurance companies in the U.S. These include Geico, State Farm, Progressive, USAA, Nationwide, Infinity and General Accident. We also have claims against smaller insurers who sometimes are even worse than the big insurers.
Our focus at Normand PLLC is on consumer protection, personal injury, class actions, insurance company shenanigans, corporate fraud. We look anywhere big companies are taking advantage of people who would normally lack the resources to protect themselves. As cliché as it might seem, our interest is finding ways to make wrong things right where normally there would be no recourse. It turns out hard work, street and book smarts, and perseverance is a winning formula. Plus we have the ability to fund these cases dollar for dollar against the biggest companies in the world.
Contact one of our experienced lawyers any time, day or night, for a free consultation at (407) 603-6031.