Illinois Court Unseals Whistleblower Complaint Alleging Insurance Fraud Against Safelite Autoglass
The Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois has unsealed a whistleblower complaint filed against Safelite Group Inc., Safelite AutoGlass and Safelite Solutions LLC, alleging widespread violations of Illinois Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act (IICFPA).
In the unsealed complaint, the whistleblower, Brian Williams, a former Safelite AutoGlass product development and strategy manager, alleges that Safelite violated the IICFPA for years by issuing false and misleading bills to insurance companies for OEM windshield molding parts that were never used by installers. The complaint also alleges that Safelite billed insurers for COVID-19 cleaning services that were not provided to customers during the pandemic.
As alleged, Safelite billed insurers for OEM or aftermarket moldings, even though less expensive universal moldings were installed. The complaint alleges that insurance companies were unaware that they are paying for the cheaper parts because Safelite intentionally programmed its billing system to suppress the information.
The complaint also alleges that Safelite implemented a “Care and Clean Service” during the Covid pandemic, where the technician was supposed to use special COVID-19 sanitation wipes to clean the vehicle before beginning a job and before returning the vehicle to the customer, charging $30 for the service. However, as alleged, while Safelite’s technicians routinely failed to sanitize vehicles either before or after a job, Safelite continued to bill insurance companies for the service.
Mark Molumphy, a partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, the law firm representing Mr. Williams, stated, “Safelite’s customers and their insurers expected to receive the high quaility products that they were billed and paid for. The unsealed complaint alleges that the conduct resulted in millions of dollars in overcharges for claims filed in Illinois alone.”
While the complaint was filed in January 2022, the names of the defendants were sealed. The Illinois Circuit Court recently unsealed the complaint and the identities of the parties. A similar action was also filed and unsealed in California Superior Court against the same parties.