Current Issue

PREMIUM CONTENT FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY

Trends

Shop Owner Beats State Farm in Court

Order Reprints
court of law

Nov. 23, 2022—A collision repair shop owner in New Hampshire recently represented himself in high court and won a case against State Farm. 

According to Insurance Journal, Steve Piispanen chose to forgo a lawyer when he appealed a judge's decision to dismiss a $1,093.37 claim against State Farm. He wrote a brief and appeared before the New Hampshire Supreme Court for oral arguments.

Piispanen owns Keene Auto Body, and his customer Caleb Meagher used his right to pursue a claim against State Farm, "after the insurer refused to pay the full amount that Piispanen said was necessary to repair the vehicle," according to Insurance Journal. 

Piispanen then filed a small claims complaint, but State Farm argued that Meagher's policy states, "that any assignment of benefits is invalid unless State Farm approves the assignment," according to Insurance Journal. 

A local judge dismissed the claim but didn't give an explanation as to why. Fast forward to Piispanen's aforementioned self-representation at the New Hampshire Supreme Court, and after review of Meagher's case, the court decided that the State Farm policy was, "ambiguous because the language did not specifically state that it applies to post-loss claims," according to Insurance Journal. 

Part of Piispanen's self-representation included detailing parts that he said State Farm refused to pay for that were necessary to the vehicle's repair. For example, he said State Farm wanted him to use a halogen headlight instead of an LED headlight from the OEM, which was more expensive. 

Related Articles

Right to Repair Suit in Court this Week

Body Shop Invests in Future Through OEM Training

Tennessee to Add EV Chargers in State Parks

You must login or register in order to post a comment.