Safelite victory in IGA-backed lawsuit

A Federal Court judge has dismissed the final three claims in an Independent Glass Association-backed lawsuit against Safelite Group, Inc., the parent company of Safelite Solutions LLC and Safelite Fu…

A Federal Court judge has dismissed the final three claims in an Independent Glass Association-backed lawsuit against Safelite Group, Inc., the parent company of Safelite Solutions LLC and Safelite Fulfillment, Inc. The ruling was made on 16 November 2005 by Judge Ann D. Montgomery of the United States District Court of Minnesota in the case of Independent Glass Association, Inc., et al. v. Safelite Group, Inc., et al. “This is a decisive victory,” said Mark A. Smolik, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Safelite, Group, Inc. “We are pleased all allegations in this case have been soundly rejected so quickly,” added Smolik. “We reached out to the IGA before this suit was filed to discuss a resolution of the Association“s dispute. We believe disputes such as this are more appropriately resolved through rational business discussions. The IGA clearly sees things differently and its strategy failed them in this instance,” said Smolik. “Considering comments made by IGA leadership about this litigation, we believe aspects of this case may have been frivolous. If we conclude they were, we will seek sanctions against the IGA related to this case,” said Smolik. For its part, the IGA said on its website that the dismissal was “a procedural win only” and that the ” the court never ruled on the underlying merits”. The association goes on to say that it will decide at its board meeting on 7 – 8 December 2005 whether to file another suit with auto glass shops as plaintiffs. The lawsuit was filed in February 2005 by the Independent Glass Association (IGA), a Minnesota consumer, a Nebraska consumer, and an unidentified Minnesota insurance adjuster. The Court dismissed the IGA“s claims of unfair competition under the federal Lanham Act, along with its claims of common law fraud, deceptive trade practices, violation of Minnesota“s Consumer Fraud Act, False Advertising Act and state insurance adjuster licensing laws on 26 August 2005. Columbus, Ohio-based Safelite Group, Inc., is a provider of property and casualty claims management solutions and auto glass products and services. Safelite Group is the parent company of Safelite Fulfillment, Inc., the USA“s largest provider of auto glass repair and replacement services, Safelite Glass Corp., a fabricator of aftermarket windshields, and Safelite Solutions LLC, an administrator of property and casualty claims.