On May 9, 2017, the Fifth Circuit, in Slade v. Progressive Security Insurance Company, affirmed a lower court’s decision finding that a class-wide damages model did not preclude class certification. However, the Fifth Circuit warned that the plaintiffs’ waiver of the class members’ ability to contest a factor utilized in the damages model could ultimately preclude certification.
In Slade, plaintiffs alleged that their insurance company paid inadequate amounts on their claims for automobile damages. In particular, plaintiffs contended that, in determining how much to pay on an automobile claim, the company improperly relied on a WorkCenter Total Loss tool to calculate the base value for total loss vehicles. The company would then adjust that value using its own internal system based upon the car’s condition. Plaintiffs alleged that the company should have used base amounts provided in more commonly-used sources, such as the National Automobile Dealers Associate Guidebook or the Kelly Blue Book. Notably, at the appellate level, plaintiffs agreed that they would not challenge defendants’ condition adjustments.