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 Auto Glass Legal News 

July 21, 1999

 

Montana Department of Commerce Alleges Washington-Based Glass Brokers Using Unfair Sales Practices.

State Auditor Mark O'Keefe heads filing of complaints against three Auto Glass Brokers claiming violation of state laws by engaging in unfair trade practices


   The Montana Department of Commerce and State Auditor Mark O'Keefe together today filed complaints against three Washington-based auto glass brokers, claiming the companies violated state laws by engaging in unfair trade practices. The state claims that Cascade Auto Glass, Montana Auto Glass (also known as Olympic Auto Glass), and Montana Auto Glass Specialists, Inc. (a subsidiary of Olympic Auto Glass), used promotions in an attempt to funnel all insurance related business to the three companies.

   “Montana law specifically outlaws the practices we allege these businesses are taking part in,” said O’Keefe. “We believe in maintaining a level playing field, so smaller shops can have a legitimate shot at making it in the marketplace.”

   Cascade, Montana Auto Glass, and Montana Auto Glass Specialists are alleged to be either offering to pay $100 to consumers or to allow consumers to use the same $100 to avoid paying their insurance deductible, thus incurring no out-of-pocket expenses for having their windshields replaced. O’Keefe and the Department of Commerce allege the offer is clearly intended to reduce the insured’s net cost by reducing the deductible the insured is responsible for under the insurance policy.

   The state contends that the actions of the respondents specifically violate a section of Montana law that forbids an auto glass shop from offering to pay all or part of an insurance policy’s deductible. The state also claims the respondents may be guilty of insurance fraud because they are presenting misleading information to an insurance company pertaining to an insurance claim.

   The hearing on the Cascade complaint is scheduled for August 11, 1999, the hearing on the Montana Auto Glass complaint is scheduled for August 10, and the hearing on the Montana Auto Glass Specialists complaint is August 9. All three hearings are scheduled to take place in the upstairs conference room at the Department of Commerce Building, 1424 Ninth Avenue, Helena, MT.

Info Contact> Paul Bergen (406) 444-2495

 

source: Montana's State Auditor Office