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Roth v. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

May 3, 2018, Decided; May 4, 2018, Entered on Docket

Case No. 16-62942-Civ-DIMITROULEAS

Opinion

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

THIS CAUSE is before the Court on Plaintiff Kerry Roth ("Plaintiff" or "Roth")'s Motion for Class Certification [DE 46/47] (the "Motion"). The Court has carefully considered the Motion, Defendant GEICO General Insurance Company ("Defendant" [*2]  or "GEICO")'s Response in Opposition [DE 77], Plaintiff's' Reply [DE 114], the exhibits submitted in the record, and is otherwise fully advised in the premises.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed a putative state court class action against GEICO in Florida state court on August 30, 2016, which she replaced on November 8, 2016 with an Amended Class Action Complaint, and which she replaced on November 16, 2016 with a Second Amended Class Action Complaint. See [DE 1-2] at pp. 85-115. The Second Amended Complaint alleged two counts: Count I for breach of contract, and Count II for declaratory relief. Defendant removed the case to federal court on December 14, 2016, pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 ("CAFA"). See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d), 1453. See [DE 1]. On January 24, 2017, the Court dismissed Count II for declaratory relief. See [DE 14]. Accordingly, Plaintiff is proceeding solely on the breach of contract claim in Count I.

Plaintiff's 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. Plaintiff alleges that GEICO does not include sales tax or title fees in its [*3]  Actual Cash Value ("ACV") payments made to insureds in settlement of total loss claims on leased vehicles, in violation of GEICO's policy language. Plaintiff contends that, while 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, Plaintiff seeks class certification and appointment of class counsel under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a), (b)(3), and (g).

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 226658 *; 2018 WL 9403428

KERRY ROTH, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, vs. GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY; GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY; GEICO INDEMNITY COMPANY; and GEICO CASUALTY COMPANY, Defendants.

Prior History: Roth v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10416 (S.D. Fla., Jan. 24, 2017)

CORE TERMS

certification, leased, predominate, replace, numerosity, calculating, adequacy