Liberty Mutual class motion lawsuit replace – appeals court docket reveals determination

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A decision by an appeals court has determined that a class action against Liberty Mutual Insurance and its contractor over claims for totaled cars would be “unmanageable.”

The class-action lawsuit filed against Liberty Mutual and its valuation contractor CCC Intelligent Solutions claimed breach of contract and unfair trade practices. The complaint argued that Liberty’s insurance policy required payment of the “actual cash value” of a totaled vehicle, but CCC Intelligent Solutions assigns valuation to vehicles based on their prices in private transactions instead of dealership prices. Plaintiffs also accused Liberty of adjusting the value shown on the CCC reports and claimed that the “condition adjustments” violated Washington state regulation.

While the case managed to push through a motion to dismiss, a Tacoma, WA district court judge denied it class-action certification.

Last week, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court judge’s decision to deny class-action status.

“If there was no injury, then there was no breach of contract or unfair trade practice,” said Circuit Judge Ryan Nelson in a written decision, adding that “figuring out whether each plaintiff was injured would be an individualized process,” and would ultimately be “unmanageable.”

CCC’s lawyers issued a statement on the decision, calling it “particularly impactful in light of numerous putative class actions – all involving similar claims against CCC and its insurer customers – that are still pending.”

JD Supra reported that insurers could use the decision as a precedent in cases involving other lines of insurance such as property, where there are disputes over actual cash value or replacement cost value.

Reuters reached out to John DeStefano of Hagens Berman, who argued the appeal on behalf of the plaintiffs, for comment, and the lawyer said that they are “evaluating options.”

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