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What Happens When People Stop Yakking and Start Acting?

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Things get done — even in the state legislature!

A case in point is AB 2059 which would require car rental companies to be vigilant in processing claims against their insured customers who reside outside of California. AB 2059 is sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), the valiant advocates of consumer protection who don’t just sit around and talk about the way things “should be” but rather take action to protect the rights of Californians.

Why is AB 2059 Needed?

In simple terms, to protect California taxpayers from getting stuck with paying medical bills when insured car renters cause serious car accidents and injuries, and then flee California. As an example of the extent of this problem, John Montevideo, CAOC President-Elect, testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee in Sacramento about the case of a non-resident who purchased insurance sold by a car rental agency when renting a car in California. After causing a severe car accident, the visitor went back to his home — in Tibet — and the plaintiffs had to actually hire a yak to climb up a mountain to serve the defendant. Thus, AB 2059 was nicknamed the “Yak Bill.”

What AB 2059 does is streamline a potentially intractable process to make it easier for a plaintiff to file a claim against a non-resident defendant through the car rental company from which the defendant purchased insurance. Thus, the car rental company would become the “agent of process” through which victims of car accidents caused by non-residents can serve the defendants in order to recover damages and medical costs more easily and more cost effectively. Indeed, in many of these cases, the defendants can’t be served, and consequently California taxpayers get stuck with the medical bills.

CAOC is Looking Out for You

The Consumer Attorneys of California is an organization that advocates for consumers’ rights. They recognized the injustice of the non-resident car renter insurance problem, and instead of just “yakking” about it, took action and sponsored AB 2059. The CAOC is to be highly commended for sponsoring not only this important bill but also many others over the years. It is due to their efforts that California consumers recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages every year.

We thank AB 2059 author, Charles Calderon, for his role in bringing this bill to the State Assembly and being an advocate for California consumers. His belief in the bill was instrumental in its success. We are grateful to John Montevideo, CAOC President-Elect, for his unwavering support of the bill and for his valuable testimony at the hearings. With people like this on our side, California consumers know our rights are being protected.

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