A Stamford, Conn., jury on Tuesday returned a $15 million verdict in a class action brought by auto body shops against The Hartford Insurance Co., which was accused of shutting out independent appraisers and violating unfair trade practice laws.

The Auto Body Association of Connecticut alleged violations of unfair trade practices law by the insurance giant, which allegedly suppressed shop labor rates artificially by exclusively using its own representatives to make appraisals following accidents.

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