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State Farm sued for shortchanging Arizona drivers

A class action has been certified in Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona that alleges State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. gyps Arizona drivers who have been involved in a collision by intentionally omitting payment from claims checks for certain repairs to their cars.

The case alleges that State Farm's use of software to omit certain repairs violates the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

According to Skene vs. State Farm, the nation's largest auto insurer uses computer software programs that systematically omit payment for repairs to wrecked cars, including seat-belt checks, rust proofing, front wheel alignment, four-wheel alignment, headlight adjustment, and replacement of the emissions label required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The case was brought by Stacey Skene (now known as Stacey White) who alleges that State Farm's use of software to omit certain repairs violates the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act and constitutes a breach of contract. White is seeking damages and restitution for herself and other class members and a cease-and-desist order against State Farm to discontinue its "omitted repairs" practices.

It is State Farm's policy to refrain from commenting on pending litigation. However, the class certification document states that State Farm denies any wrongdoing, insisting that:

  • The software in question does not omit any necessary repairs.
  • Not all procedures performed on a vehicles will appear on the estimate.
  • The statute of limitations bars many of these claims.

Does this affect you?

Class members eligible to participate in this lawsuit are State Farm Arizona policyholders who, from or after Jan. 29, 1993, made a claim for vehicle repairs and received payment based on an estimate prepared or approved by State Farm which did not include one or more "omitted repairs." The vehicle must not have been declared a total loss.

To participate in the lawsuit, class members do not have to do anything at this time. To opt out of the action, you may complete an "exclusion request" form.

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