United States District Court, District of Columbia
EVNA T. LAVELLE & LAVENIA LAVELLE, Plaintiffs,
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
B. WALTON United States District Judge
LaVelle and Lavenia LaVelle, the plaintiffs in this putative
class action, filed suit in the Superior Court of the
District of Columbia (“Superior Court”) against
the defendant, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
(“State Farm”), alleging that “State Farm
breached its insurance contract with its insureds in the
District of Columbia by failing to pay them for the
diminished value [ ] of their vehicles after they were
repaired to industry standards and committed unfair trade
practices.” Motion for Remand (“Pls.'
Mot.”) at 1. State Farm then removed the case to this
Court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28
U.S.C. § 1332(d) (2012). See Notice of Removal
at 1. Currently before the Court is the plaintiffs'
Motion for Remand, which requests that this case be returned
to the Superior Court. See Pl.'s Mot. at 1. Upon
careful consideration of the parties' submissions,
Court concludes that it must deny the plaintiffs' motion.
August 9, 2015, [the plaintiffs'] vehicle was struck by
an uninsured driver at the corner of Half Street SE and M
Street SE in the District of Columbia.” Compl. ¶
7. The plaintiffs' vehicle, a 2014 Audi A6, sustained
damages that required over $17, 000 to repair. Id.
According to the plaintiffs, “[a]s a result of the
damage suffered to the vehicle in the accident, the vehicle
was worth less after it was repaired than it was before the
accident.” Id. ¶ 8. State Farm, the
plaintiffs' insurer, see id. ¶ 1, covered
the vehicle's repair costs pursuant to the
plaintiffs' Uninsured Motor Vehicle Coverage, see
id. ¶¶ 2, 9, but did not cover “the
diminution of value damages [the plaintiffs] suffered,
” id. ¶ 9.
April 22, 2016, the plaintiffs filed their Class Action
Complaint in the Superior Court as the proposed class
representatives of the following putative class:
All [State Farm] insureds with District of Columbia policies
issued in the District of Columbia, where the insured's
vehicle damages were covered under Underinsured Motorist
1. the repair estimates on the vehicle (including any
supplements) totaled at least $1, 000; and
2. the vehicle was no more than six years old (model year
plus five years) and had less than 90, 000 miles on it at the
time of the accident; and
3. the vehicle suffered structural (frame) damage and/or
deformed sheet metal and/or required body or paint work.
Excluded from the Class are (a) claims involving leased
vehicles or total losses, and (b) the assigned Judge, the
Judge's staff and family.
Id. ¶ 22. The plaintiffs allege that State Farm
failed to cover the diminished value of the putative class
members' vehicles pursuant to their policies,
id. ¶ 6, and assert three causes of action
(“Answer”); (3) the defendant's Response in
Opposition to Motion for Remand (“Def.'s
Opp'n”); and (4) the against State Farm: breach of
contract, unlawful and deceptive trade practices in violation
of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures
Act (the “Consumer Protection Act”), and breach
of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,
id. ¶¶ 35, 43, 49-51. The plaintiffs
request the following relief:
a. Actual damages in the form of payment of the difference
between the insured vehicles' pre[-]loss fair market
values and their projected fair market values as repaired
vehicles immediately after the accident in amounts to be
determined at trial;
b. Treble damages or $1500 per violation of the [Consumer
Protection Act] for each District of Columbia ...