Erie Insurance Exchange and the Erie Insurance Group are facing a class action lawsuit over the use of replacement auto parts similar to the action brought against State Farm in Illinois which resulted in a multi-million dollar judgment that’s now on appeal.
The lawyers for the named plaintiff, Brenda L. Foultz, a resident of Lancaster County, were successful in their efforts to have the action certified by Judge John W. Herron of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas as a class action.
It’s estimated that there may be as many as 500,000 policyholders who are potential members of the affected class. The dispute involves the use of “after market parts” used to repair vehicles damaged in accidents. The plaintiffs claim that using parts such as bumpers and fenders that are not made by the original manufacturer of the automobile violates requirements that repairs be made with parts “of like kind and quality.”
Erie allegedly specified the use of the non-comforming parts until the practice was discontinued in February of 1999.
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