Washington State District Court Denies Certification for Policyholder Class.

A U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington denied certification to a putative class of automobile insurance policyholders whose vehicles were stolen or totaled in accidents. The Defendants were two insurance companies and the vendor of a vehicle valuation tool. The insurance companies relied on the tool to value total loss vehicles. The tool was based on asking prices for similar vehicles being offered for sale after adjusting for differences in mileage, options and condition. Plaintiffs alleged that the insurance companies failed to itemize the condition adjustments properly when notifying policyholders about the estimated value of their loss vehicles. The Court ruled that proof of liability would require demonstration that the adjustments were inappropriate in dollar amount and that that determination would be individualized. Consequently, the Court found that the Plaintiffs failed to meet the commonality, predominance and superiority requirements for certification of a class seeking money damages. EI President Jonathan Walker testified in support of the insurance companies’ opposition to class certification. Cameron Lundquist and Leeana Laura v. First National Insurance Company of America, LM General Insurance Company, and CCC Information Services Incorporated 3:18-cv-05301 (October 21, 2020 U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma).