In a lawsuit stretching back more than a decade, a recent decision by an appeals court in Texas will allow a class action against USAA, related to total losses, to move forward.
The lawsuit alleges USAA routinely filed ‘owner retained reports’ for non-repairable vehicles with the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) immediately after issuing checks for total losses, without giving claimants adequate notice.
The lead plaintiff in the case, Sunny Letot, was hit by a USAA-insured driver in 2009. Repairs to her 1983 Mercedes-Benz were estimated at $8,859.
USAA determined the car was a total loss, and mailed Letot a check for $2,738. Her attorney returned the check and demanded more than $10,000.
But without Letot’s knowledge or consent, the lawsuit argues, USAA filed a report with the Texas DOT one day after issuing the check, resulting in the vehicle being recorded as a salvage vehicle and limiting further transfer of the title.