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Joffe v. Geico Indem. Ins. Co.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

July 30, 2019, Decided; July 31, 2019, Entered on Docket

CASE NO. 18-61361-CIV-DIMITROULEAS / SNOW

Opinion

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

THIS CAUSE is before the Court on Plaintiffs Marianne Joffe, Debbe Schertzer, and Stephanie Rodriguez ("Plaintiffs") Sealed Motion for Class Certification [DE 41] (the "Motion"). The Court has carefully considered the Motion, Defendants GEICO Indemnity [*2]  Insurance Company, Government Insurance Company, and GEICO General Insurance Company's ("Defendants" or "GEICO")'s Response in Opposition [DE 45-2], Plaintiffs' Reply [DE 49], the exhibits submitted in the record, and is otherwise fully advised in the premises.

I. BACKGROUND

This case was filed on June 15, 2018. [DE 1]. On June 28, 2019, this action was transferred to the undersigned due to its similarity to Roth v. GEICO, Case No. 16-62942-Civ-DIMITROULEAS (S.D. Fla.) (the "Roth case"). See [DE 7]. This case is nearly identical to the Roth case, except it involves a class that accrued a different time.

The Complaint alleges two counts: Count I for breach of contract, and Count II for attorneys' fees. See [DE 1].

Like the Roth case, Plaintiffs' breach of contract claim arises out of GEICO's alleged failure to pay state and local sales tax and title transfer fees ("title fees") in the settlement of total loss claims on leased vehicles. Plaintiffs allege that GEICO does not include sales tax or title fees in its Actual Cash Value ("ACV") payments made to insureds in settlement of total loss claims on leased vehicles, in violation of GEICO's policy language. Plaintiffs contend that, while [*3]  the GEICO policies provide that leased and owned vehicles are treated the same, and the premiums and underwriting auto policies for leased and owned vehicles are the same, GEICO arbitrarily reduces coverage to insureds with leased vehicle total loss claims compared to insureds with owned vehicle total loss claims by failing to pay the sales tax and title fees on total losses of leased vehicles.

In the instant Motion, Plaintiffs seek class certification and appointment of class counsel under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a), (b)(3), and (g).

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176117 *; 2019 WL 5078228

MARIANNE JOFFE, DEBBE SCHERTZER, and STEPHANIE RODRIGUEZ, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. GEICO INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY, GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY and GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.

CORE TERMS

certification, leased, predominate, numerosity, adequacy