Monday, April 15, 2024

Fall River District Court allows claim against insurer's vehicle appraiser


Source One Financial Corporation sued Commerce Insurance Company and its adjuster in a dispute arising out of the value of a totaled vehicle.  Source One sought to amend the complaint by adding Commerce's vehicle appraiser and her company as defendants, asserting that they exceeded their authority as appraisers and worked with Commerce to artificially suppress the value of the totaled vehicle.

Commerce opposed the motion on the ground that the claim against the appraiser should be addressed through an administrative remedy before the Automobile Damage Appraiser Licensing Board.

In a decision and order on Source One's motion to amend the complaint in Source One Financial Corp. v. Commerce Ins. Co., Fall River District Court No. 23CV0369 (December 4, 2023), the Fall River District Court allowed Source One to amend the complaint.  The court held, "although there may be an administrative procedure available to resolve complaints against appraisers, the plaintiff need not choose that avenue to remedy his complaints."