In April 2014 I was contacted by largest Collector Car Insurance Company in the United States to review a case of two vehicles involved in a garage fire. The insurance company was concerned that the vehicle owners chosen repair shop was not being honest with their estimating practices. A total of $318,000.00 was estimated to return the two affected vehicles to “pre-loss” condition.
After reviewing all photographs, written estimates and emails it was determined that I should visit the repair shop to inspect vehicles in person. I was asked by insurance company to prepare documents to show: Pre-loss condition of vehicles, damages from the covered peril and cost to repair those damages.
My reports showed a Total cost to repair damaged vehicles would be $18,173.00, Total invoice for travel, inspection and document preparations equaled $3,187.14 thus saving the insurance company a sum of $296,639.86 if the claim had not been investigated and my services been rendered.
This story goes to another level. Three weeks pass and the insurance company calls me and asks if I am sure my numbers are correct. I as a restoration shop owner for over 25 years I know what procedures and times are required to repair these vehicles. I offer to repair vehicle for what I have written if insurance company has them shipped to my facility. The offer is accepted, vehicles are repaired, vehicle owner is happy with vehicles and I now have a new client.
AUTOMOTIVE RESTORATION SHOP
In June 2016 I was contacted by a law firm in Rhode Island. That firm was representing a local Vintage Car Restoration shop. The restoration shop was being litigated against by an unhappy customer. The claim was “restoration shop breeched the contract and vehicle owner incurred damages between $200,000.00 to $250,000.00”.
After reviewing all Photographs, Discovery Material, Interrogatories, and Emails between parties and verbal review of case with leading attorney I was able to help with a defense strategy. Hired as an expert witness and counsel consultant we together prepared a case to be presented to jury. It was my job to take technical terms and procedures and make them understandable to average people not in the trade. I also found many discrepancies in the opposing party’s case.
Using my information and prepared documents. A case that my client’s law firm thought was a total loss before contacting me and was just trying to minimize damages turned in favor of our shared client (the shop owner). The jury found the shop owner not only NOT GUILTY of any wrong doing but awarded him compensation for his Attorney fees. My fee for that case was less than $4000.00
CLASSIC PONTIAC GTO OWNER
I was Contacted by owner of a 1966 Pontiac GTO convertible that had been involved in a rear-end collision. The GTO had severe damaged to the right rear quarter panel and was brought to a reputable Collision repair shop near Boston Massachusetts. The repair shop and assigned insurance appraiser (neither a classic car expert) agreed on an estimate of repair. Inexperienced in classic Pontiac repair the repair shop cut off the left rear quarter panel and ordered replacement. When the replacement panel arrived it was discovered that the repair technician had cut the panel incorrectly and the replacement panel could not be installed, the technicians cut more off the car than was supplied with aftermarket replacement. This is a hard lesson learned when not familiar with aftermarket replacement parts. The car sat for months in the repair shop with no resolution.
I was contacted at this point, the car is cut, no replacement panel available to replace. A 4 week search for a factory issued replacement (Known in the industry as N.O.S) or satisfactory used part is started, no such luck with the search. I report to the owner car is not repairable without a factory replacement or good used part, part is rare and at this time cannot find one for sale. Owner of GTO is not happy and would like a resolve. A lawsuit against the first repair shop that cut the panel off incorrectly is started.
Hired by vehicle owner as an expert, I worked with his attorneys to form a case. Difficult to convey to a jury the technicalities of vehicle repair, I testified. This was a long case with many “experts” apposing my findings. In the end, the jury found in favor of my client and awarded him full value of his damaged vehicle, $60,000.00. The right verdict, it was not his fault that inexperienced shop destroyed his otherwise repairable vehicle.
Todd Lewis was contacted by largest Collector Car Insurance Company in the United States to review a case of two vehicles involved in a garage fire.
We were contacted by a restoration shop that was being litigated against by an unhappy customer. The claim was “restoration shop breeched the contract and vehicle owner incurred damages between $200,000.00 to $250,000.00”.
We were contacted by the owner of a 1966 Pontiac GTO convertible after an inexperienced collision repair shop destroyed his otherwise repairable vehicle follwing a rear-end collision.
P.O. Box 1160
Slatersville, RI 02876