State Farm Suit Will Be Test For New Attorney General
One of the first important tests for new Attorney General Jeff Landry will be how he handles a major lawsuit filed in 2014 against insurance giant State Farm by outgoing Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.
Caldwell alleged that State Farm has violated Louisiana’s Unfair Trade Practices Act and Monopolies Law by using scare tactics to steer Louisiana consumers to State Farm’s preferred auto repair shops, which the suit alleges often use aftermarket parts rather than approved manufacturers parts. This results in millions of dollars in savings for State Farm but often provides consumers with parts and reparis that are unsafe and which reduce the value of the vehicle.
The suit was filed in state District Court in Baton Rouge in 2014 but removed to federal District Court in Florida. In August, Caldwell won a victory when the federal judge sent the case back to state court. The case is now being prepared for trial.
Landry’s test will be whether he pursues the case or withdraws it. State Farm writes one-third of the state’s auto insurance, and Caldwell says their practices are costing consumers millions each year.