Louisiana State Farm Lawsuit Up In The Air
The fate of a lawsuit filed against State Farm Insurance in Louisiana, and recently transferred back to the state by a federal judge, is currently unknown. That’s because the lawsuit was originally filed by Buddy Caldwell, the former attorney general of the state, who recently lost his position as voters ousted him in favor of Jeff Landry in the November 2015 election. Landry took office in January and has stated that he is reviewing the office’s current cases.
Caldwell’s lawsuit was filed in Louisiana’s 19th Judicial District Court in 2014. It alleged State Farm violated Louisiana’s Unfair Trade Practices Act and Monopolies Law by using scare tactics to steer Louisiana consumers to State Farm’s preferred repair shops and forcing shops to perform vehicle repairs cheaply and quickly, rather than in accordance with consumer safety and vehicle manufacturer performance standards.
State Farm had the case removed to federal court and then transferred to multi-district litigation pending in Florida. Former Attorney General Caldwell filed motions in December 2014 to have the case transferred back to state court in Louisiana, where it was originally, properly filed. U.S. District Court Judge Gregory A. Presnell granted Caldwell’s motion, and ordered that the case be heard in Louisiana.
The new attorney general has yet to make a decision as to whether he will continue to pursue the suit. According to WBRZ 2 (www.wbrz.com), State Farm released a statement that it received a signed judgment granting State Farm’s exception of a no cause action. “Just prior to departing office, the former Attorney General (Caldwell) filed an amended petition. State Farm will respond to that amended petition consistent with our belief that these allegations are without merit.”
The case is pending.