Following up on one of our more popular posts from last year, here’s an update on a key development in the on-going multi-district Body Shop Antitrust case brought by hundreds of auto body repair shops against dozens of auto insurers. (Full disclosure: the Bose McKinney & Evans team of Brian Jones, Curtis Jones, and Joel Nagle represent one of the insurers in the Indiana case that was consolidated.)
Since our last post, the total number of pending cases in the MDL has gone up to 22, and the defendants in the Indiana, Florida, Utah, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee cases filed Motions to Dismiss. The Court conducted a hearing on the pending dismissal motions in early November.
On Wednesday, the Middle District of Florida dismissed all of the claims in the Florida case (including one claim with prejudice), finding, among other things, that the plaintiffs failed to plead plausible claims as required under Twombly. The Court gave the plaintiffs until February 10 to amend their complaint.
This ruling paves the way for similar rulings in the Indiana case and others. Stay tuned for further developments.
It’s that time of year again. (And I’m not referring to yet another heartbreaking loss to the
clearly evil Patriots, though that happened…again…)
No. I’m talking about the Indiana General Assembly being back in session, which means more as-it-happens insurance industry scoop from our friends at Bose Public Affairs Group. In this first issue, developments in:
- Unclaimed life insurance benefits;
- The Indiana Department of Insurance;
- Data security;
- Dental coverage;
- Mental health coverage;
- Medical malpractice;
- Worker’s comp; and
We’ll bring you the latest updates as soon as we get them. Stay tuned!
Back in December, the Federal Insurance Office released its first report on the global reinsurance market, creatively titled “The Breadth and Scope of the Global Reinsurance Market and the Critical Role Such Market Plays in Supporting Insurance in the United States.”
At 47 pages, it’s a surprisingly quick read. (Spoiler alert: the global reinsurance market is big and plays a critical role in supporting insurance in the U.S.) What’s more, it provides a nice overview of the history of reinsurance and its various forms. So, no more citing to Second Circuit opinions for that background stuff.
I know many in the industry were–and still are–very concerned about just what the Federal Insurance Office will actually do. If reports like this are any indication of what the FIO will be doing, I don’t think we have anything to worry about…
To all our friends and readers, we wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015!
On Friday, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered five antitrust cases brought by numerous auto body shops in five separate federal districts—including the Southern District of Indiana—consolidated in the Orlando Division of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. (Full disclosure: The Bose McKinney & Evans team of Brian Jones, Curtis Jones, and Joel Nagle represents one of the defendants in the Indiana antitrust case.) The order is attached below.
As the Panel noted, the plaintiffs in the cases are “principally individual collision repair shops in five states. They allege a conspiracy in the automobile insurance industry to suppress the reimbursement rates for automobile collision repairs, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act and various state laws.” Further,
This litigation involves allegations of a complex anticompetitive conspiracy among the nation’s leading insurance carriers and dozens of regional companies, as well as allegations that the databases of three third-party information services companies—ADP, CCC, and Mitchell—played a substantial role in facilitating the alleged scheme.
Collectively, the plaintiffs sued over 80 insurers. In response to the plaintiffs’ motion to consolidate all pending cases in the Southern District of Mississippi, the insurers’ universally opposed consolidation in Mississippi, but varied as to where the cases should be consolidated, if at all.
Ultimately, the Panel found that consolidation “will offer the benefit of placing all related actions before a single judge who can structure pretrial proceedings to accommodate all parties’ legitimate discovery needs while ensuring that common witnesses are not subjected to duplicative discovery demands.” Because the five cases involved common questions of fact, “centralization of the actions on the motion in the Middle District of Florida will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation.”