News: N.H. Body Shop Owner Bests State Farm in High Court
Court ruling says Ray Gunder of Gunder’s Auto Center and Paul Hawks of Bernie’s Paint & Body do have legal standing on behalf of customers who grant them Power of Attorney.
On Dec. 13, a Florida judge ruled that Ray Gunder of Gunder’s Auto Center Inc., and Paul Hawks of Bernie’s Paint & Body Inc., both of Lakeland, Fla., do have legal standing on behalf of customers who granted them Power of Attorney and denied a motion to dismiss six lawsuits filed against State Farm by Gunder and one filed against Progressive by Hawks.
State Farm argued that the six lawsuits Gunder has filed against them should be dismissed on the grounds that he did not have standing based on the Power of Attorney granted by his customers. Progressive’s legal counsel was also present in court and used the same argument in a suit brought against them by Hawks.
“I feel strongly that the court made the correct
decision," said attorney Brent Geohagan, who represented both Gunder and Hawks. "While this is but one more in a long line of victories for
Ray and his customers that is warranted and well-deserved, it’s a
significant victory for the entire collision repair industry in Florida
and beyond…and the fight goes on and will as long as need be."
Added Gunder, “I was extremely proud while I sat watching and listening to Brent’s passion, preparation and expertise as he defeated each of the insurer’s arguments. This is a huge deal as once again State Farm’s efforts to avoid disclosure of their internal business practices have been unsuccessful. We’re excited to see what will be revealed in upcoming depositions and discovery."