McGraw says insurer, shop fixed vehicles with bad parts

Jessica M. Karmasek Dec. 15, 2011, 1:56pm


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw is suing Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and a Charleston area frame and body shop for allegedly repairing vehicles with junkyard parts.

McGraw's lawsuit was filed Thursday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

According to a release from the Attorney General's Office, the suit details repeated violations of the state's Consumer Credit and Protection Act by both Liberty Mutual and Greg Chandler's Frame and Body LLC in St. Albans.

In particular, McGraw's office alleges Liberty Mutual required body shops to repair vehicles using reconditioned, remanufactured and used parts in violation of state law.

In addition, McGraw said the insurer failed to provide consumers with the proper notices and written statements.

According to the Attorney General's Office, it is unlawful in West Virginia for an insurer to require the use of salvaged, used or reconditioned crash parts when negotiating the repairs of vehicles within three years of manufacture and without the owner's consent.

McGraw said his office began investigating Liberty Mutual and the body shop after receiving "evidence" that new vehicles were being repaired with junkyard parts.

An investigation confirmed that the insurer employed a policy that violated state law, he said.

"My office will always work to insure that West Virginians receive safe, high quality, competent, and lawful repairs to their vehicles," McGraw said in a statement.

"Implementing policies that thwart state law in an effort to increase profits is unacceptable."

The attorney general's suit asks the circuit court to enjoin both defendants from engaging in such unlawful activity in the future, seeks restitution for those whose cars were illegally repaired with bad parts and asks for civil penalties.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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