Geico insurance company deliberately and fraudulently portrays drivers as responsible for accidents they didn’t cause and arbitrarily assigns drivers to high-risk indemnity status in an attempt to keep customers from switching carriers, a class action alleges.
Staten Island, N.Y., drivers Efrain Hernandez and Thomas Calkins filed suit March 7 against Geico in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. They request class certification and unspecified damages. Read the complaint here.
In Hernandez and Calkins v. Government Employees Insurance Co., Hernandez alleges Geico officially blamed him for two accidents in which another driver hit his car, which was parked at the time.
Hernandez claims Geico reported his alleged culpability to the New York State Division of Motor Vehicles. Hernandez, according to the complaint, was later rejected for coverage by Allstate. Geico apologized and fixed his record, the complaint states.
When Calkins wanted to switch to Allstate, he learned Geico had classified him as an “assigned risk,” a designation used for those with “severely compromised driving records,” the complaint alleges. Calkins’ policy was held by Geico Indemnity Co., and Allstate’s computer system automatically rejects drivers who are “indemnity customers,” according to the lawsuit. Geico later wrote a letter that said Calkins was not a high risk.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys are Oren Giskan and Raymond Audain of Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart, New York, and Joseph Romagnolo, Staten Island, N.Y.
Lisa Hoffman is a contributing writer for The National Law Journal.