The Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department has denied Liberty Mutual’s motion to dismiss causes of action brought by Nick Orso’s Body Shop including quantum meruit (unjust enrichment) and deceptive business practices.
Attorneys for Liberty Mutual argued that the plaintiffs (Nick Orso’s Body Shop and Jeffrey’s Auto Body) “lacked standing” because their assignors were strangers to the underlying insurance policies.
“Insurance companies have continually attempted to get the courts to agree that we (shops) do not have the legal standing to sue or pursue collection on our customers’ behalf,” explained Mike Orso, owner of Nick Orso’s. “Every twist and spin fails, however, as case law is well established.”
He added, “Basically, some insurers who still don’t want to play nice or are not willing to negotiate and settle claims during repairs project that sentiment to the law firms that represent them – possibly following insurance company directives to not settle claims and fight on at all costs.”
Jeffrey’s Auto Body and Nick Orso’s use the same law firm, so since the motion was to dismiss both Nick’s and Jeffrey’s suits for "standing," they were combined. Both cases also involve the same issues: short pay, labor rate, paint and materials, P-page procedures and non-OEM parts.
Nick Orso’s has four to six lawsuits remaining, plus many small claims court cases. While some cases have been resolved, some are active in various stages of discovery, pending motions and trial date assignments.