Editor’s note: Prolific national columnist Gene Marks writes for a variety of top-tier business and news publications, but granted reprint rights to the likes of us….
The John Eagle Collision Center case has brought the concept of shop liability for improper repairs to the forefront, and repairers curious to know more about avoiding this potentially $31.5 million threat should check out four upcoming events on the East Coast.
Todd Tracy, the attorney who successfully brought the lawsuit against the Dallas auto body shop and has since settled for an undisclosed amount, will be the guest at back-to-back events in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey between Jan. 8-9, 2018.
Tracy will first appear at a Jan. 8, 2018, event hosted by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Pennsylvania
He’ll present “The Anatomy of a Lawsuit: The Crucial Details for the $42 Million Verdict,” which made for a fantastic talk at SEMA. The Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association and Auto Body Craftsmen’s Guild, observed in an email that “industry attendees (at SEMA) found him to be a very dynamic, passionate vehicle safety advocate ready to fight on behalf of the collision industry to get the insurance bullies out of their businesses.” The AASP-PA gave a virtually identical assessment.
According to the AASP-PA, Tracy’s talk will “Help collision repair businesses avoid their own $42 million verdict” and “Define how business decisions made in the course of a repair can have dramatic effect on both the repair outcome and ultimate responsibility.”
The talk will run from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Rohrich Parts Warehouse in Pittsburgh, Pa. A dinner starting at 7 p.m. will precede it.
Cost: $25. RSVP by Jan. 3, 2018, to Pam Thomas at 800-588-9272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The presentation should also be the first formal presentation of the results from this and next week’s Karco 40 mph moderate-offset crash tests of a control Honda Fit and two others of the same structural design generation. One underwent repairs mimicking those incorrect procedures allegedly done on Tracy’s clients’ Honda Fit. Another was fixed according to OEM specs — but received a number of aftermarket parts. The third will be a control vehicle.
“These tests will be the scientific basis to show insurers why OEM repair specifications must be followed and that aftermarket parts are not suitable for safety,” the AASP-PA wrote in a flier.
Tracy will next be in New Jersey at an Alliance of Automotive Service Providers luncheon from noon to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Gran Centurions Banquet Hall in Clark, N.J.
“With all the buzz following the verdict, Tracy’s session will arm participants with invaluable knowledge to bring back to their own shops,” AASP-NJ wrote in a news release.
Tracy will present the crash test results there as well.
“The results provide concrete evidence that reinforce the error in John Eagle’s ways, in addition to benefitting shop owners in future negotiations with insurers,” the AASP-NJ wrote.
Members can attend for free; non-members must pay $100. Lunch and a cash bar are included. Register by contacting AASP-NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant at 732-922-8909 or email@example.com.
An encore presentation will occur at 7:30 p.m. across the border in St. James, N.Y., when LIABRA and the ABCG will host Tracy for a similar presentation at Competition BMW.
“Mr. Tracy will also give us hands-on engineering techniquest that will enable us to conduct more detail repair estimates as we begin to start thinking (as) crashworthiness experts.”
Dinner will be held first at 7 p.m. All members, spouses and employees are welcome.
Details: 631-941-9647 or www.liabra.org/events.
Finally, longtime collision repair attorney Erica Eversman, who appeared on an SCRS panel with Tracy during SEMA, will speak to the Georgia Collision Industry Association on Jan. 18, 2018, in another can’t-miss event.
GCIA observed that Eversman “is recognized nationally as an authority on diminished value, automotive insurance, and collision repair issues and is currently working on several legal matters to further the interests of consumers and collision repairers in promoting safe, quality repairs.”
Eversman earlier this year at an AASP-Pennslyvania event, on “Repair University Live” and again on the SEMA panel demonstrated how liability can fall squarely on a shop or tech. This is vital information, and you won’t want to miss the chance to see what behaviors to avoid.
Besides collision repairers, Eversman might also scare legislators and insurance commissioner candidates straight; the GCIA has invited both to the Atlanta event.
“Sharing information is the key to minimizing liability and maximizing pay for collision repairers,” Eversman said in a statement. “The lack of information within collision repair is the biggest problem in this industry. The insurers have done a fantastic job intimidating the collision repairers to not collect information, to not get together, to not discuss issues about their businesses. That’s something that we all have to get over.”
The event at the Wyndam Atlanta Galleria is free and starts with a dinner at 6:30 p.m. RSVP at www.gcia.org.
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey, Dec. 18, 2017
Featured image: From left: Tracy Law Firm owner Todd Tracy and Vehicle Information Services collision repair attorney Erica Eversman. (Greg Folkins photo provided by Tracy Law Firm; John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)