GEICO has joined State Farm in seeking a gag order against Ray Gunder of Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, Fla. Gunder is suing the insurers on behalf of his customers for intentional short pays and a variety of other alleged misdoings.
According to Gunder’s spokespeople, GEICO brought in additional legal counsel last week from Arizona as co-counsel, who
immediately sent notice to Gunder’s attorney, Brent Geohagan, that they
would be seeking a delay/continuance for several scheduled depositions and request the court to issue a gag order to stop Gunder from sharing his legal journey and its findings with the collision repair industry.
Last month, State Farm filed a similar motion with the local court to stop Gunder from sharing information relative to the
numerous lawsuits he has filed on behalf of his customers,
including deposition transcripts and results of hearings and discovery.
“Because no ‘trade secrets’ (i.e. policy premiums, methodology to set or determine pricing, demographics, etc.) will be part or parcel of the discovery in these cases, and because the terms of the insurers’ policy/contracts are readily available to all, as are their marketing efforts, I can see no viable or ‘legitimate trade secret’ concerns that would warrant the courts to issue such an order to silence Ray," said Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts (ADE). "Based upon what has been learned through discovery thus far, I can fully understand why these two insurers would not want the information relative to their conduct exposed. As such, Ray’s actions and successes have been extremely beneficial to other repairers and consumers and to the collision repair industry at large and may encourage some insurers to change their business practices.”
Added Gunder, "I’m not overly concerned. I have excellent legal counsel, and I’m confident that Brent will do what he can to defend against the insurers’ efforts to silence me. My only concern is not being able to show what goes on and how other repairers can be successful in properly and thoroughly serving their customers (and their employees) in receiving proper compensation. I believe this is what the insurers fear most and why they’re trying to shut me up. Regardless, until I’m ordered to keep quiet, you can bet I will continue to share my journey with others as we ‘pound the rock.’”