Leif Hansen (businessman)

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Leif Christopher Hansen (b. 1957) is the founder and owner of a chain of auto body shops, Leif's Auto Collision Centers.[1]

History[edit]

Leif Hansen was born in Bellingham Washington and raised in Oahu Hawaii. In 1986, he opened a Honolulu body and repair shop called Pristine Coachworks. In 1990, Hansen moved to Portland in order to invest in a new type of auto body shop. In 1991, he opened Olympic Auto, a one-man auto-body company that served about 80 cars per year.[2] By 1999, the company had grown so much that the organization split into two separate entities - Olympic Auto Body and Paint and Leif's Auto Collision Centers.[3] As of 2005, Leif's Auto Collision Centers' flagship shop in Tigard employs 70 people and handles over 4,000 cars a year.[4]

Political Action[edit]

In 1994, Hansen went to Oregon Legislature to protect consumers from illegal steering practices, after recognizing that several autobody repair shops were paying kickbacks to insurance companies in exchange for referrals.[5]

In 2005, Hansen founded a consumer-focused political action committee, Oregonians for Safe Auto Repair (OSAR) to push for legislative changes.[6] In June 2007, OSAR was successful in passing Oregon Senate Bill 523-A. On June 20, 2007, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed the bill with Hansen present. On January 1. 2008, Senate Bill 523-A officially became Oregon law.[7] The law requires insurance companies to inform consumers that they have the legal right to choose where their vehicle is repaired. Under the law, insurance companies must inform consumers of their rights prior to making a recommendation for a repair provider. The law also prevents insurance companies from limiting reimbursement when consumers choose a repair provider without a referral from the insurance company.[8]

Class Action Law Suits[edit]

Clark v. State Farm Mutual Insurance[edit]

Hansen started a class action lawsuit against State Farm in 2007 to confront insurance companies over provide incentives for customer steering - specifically in the requirement of insurance companies to do work using refurbished instead of new parts. In Clark v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Company in 2007, judges threw out the case, claiming that it did not merit a class action status since the initial plaintiff Ricky Eugene Clark received a judgement award before additional claims came forward (Lief Hansen included).[9] A judgement by the United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit upheld the initial verdict.[10]

Leif's Auto Collision Centers v. State Farm et. al[edit]

Hansen's company went to court against Oregon Mutual and Grange Insurance due to antitrust activities in relation to price requirements on repairs. The case was referred by the United States District Court for the District of Oregon to be a part of the nationwide antitrust suit (A&E BODY SHOP INC. et al v. 21ST CENTURY CENTENNIAL INSURANCE COMPANY et al) against some of America's largest insurance companies including Progressive, Hartford, and Allstate.[11][12]

Community Involvement[edit]

In 2011, Leif's Autobody and Collision was the primary sponsor for the 20th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Portland, Oregon.[13] Hansen's efforts helped the foundation raise over $2.5 million dollars in just two days[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Body shops resent insurers auto HMOs. Portland Business Journal - by Kathy Brock 16 February 1997. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  2. ^ Budnick, Nick and B. Hartley. "Leif's Auto Body Experience" Willamette Weekly, Nov 2005.
  3. ^ McNamara, Brian "Hazardous Materials Corridor Assessment" Oregon Department of Transportation, Sep 2013.
  4. ^ Budnick, Nick and B. Hartley. "Leif's Auto Body Experience" Willamette Weekly, Nov 2005.
  5. ^ Harbor, Mike. "Crash Talk Podcast: Leif Hansen" "Crash Talk Podcast." 23 October 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  6. ^ Harbor, Mike. "Crash Talk Podcast: Leif Hansen" "Crash Talk Podcast." 23 October 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  7. ^ Prozanski. "74th Oregon Legislative Assembly - 2007 Regular Session." Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  8. ^ Albright, Brian. "Anti-Steering Bill Passes in Oregon" Autobody Repair News, July 2007. Vol. 46 Issue 7, p12
  9. ^ "CLARK v. STATE FARM MUT. AUTO. INS. CO" Case Text, 18 September 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  10. ^ "CLARK v. STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY" Case Law, 29 December 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  11. ^ "LEIF'S AUTO COLLISION CENTERS v. STATE FARM et al." "United States District Court: District of Oregon (Portland Area)", 7 November 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Auto Insurers Lowe as Oregon Body Shop's Antitrust Case is Transferred to Florida." "Repairer Driven News", 26 March 2015. Accessed 24 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Leif's Auto Collision & Service Centers Joins Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure." "KATU Television" Aired 9 August 2011. Accessed 24 April 2015.
  14. ^ Harbarger, M. "Portland Race for the Cure mixes frivolity with breast cancer awareness" "Oregon Live" 18 September 2011. Accessed 24 April 2015.

External links[edit]