Ryan Stier v. PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company, et al.
PEMCO Total Loss Settlement
Case No. 18-2-08153-5

Frequently Asked Questions


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  • If you received a Notice, you were identified from PEMCO’s records as an insured of PEMCO in the State of Washington who received payment under your PEMCO policy because your vehicle was deemed a total loss as a result of a loss occurring between May 17, 2012, and April 30, 2020.

    The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them. You may be eligible to receive money from this Settlement if you submit a valid claim form.

    The Court in charge of the case is the Pierce County Superior Court for the State of Washington, and the case is known as Stier v. PEMCO Mutual Insurance Co., Case No. 18-2-08153-5. The person who brought this class action lawsuit, called the “Plaintiff,” has sued PEMCO on behalf of certain policyholders with “total loss” claims.

  • The lawsuit alleges that in settling total losses, PEMCO improperly took deductions for “typical negotiation.” The plaintiff in the lawsuit alleges that the use of the “typical negotiation” deduction resulted in the underpayment of total loss claims to PEMCO insureds and, as a result, breached PEMCO’s insurance contract and violated Washington law. PEMCO denies that it did anything wrong.


  • In a class action, the Plaintiff, also referred to as the Class Representative, sues on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people are part of a “Class.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Bryan Chuschcoff is presiding over this class action and certified this action as a Class Action prior to the Settlement


  • Prior to further proceedings, both sides agreed to a Settlement, which if approved, brings the litigation to an end. That way, Plaintiff and PEMCO avoid the cost, delay, and uncertainty of moving forward in litigation to trial and possible appeals, and the Class Members will get payments. The Class Representative and his attorneys think the Settlement is best for the Class Members.


  • You are a member of the Class if you are a PEMCO insured under an auto policy issued in the State of Washington who was paid by PEMCO for the total loss of your own vehicle(s) under one of PEMCO’s first party coverages (Comprehensive, Collision, and Underinsured Motorist), for a loss occurring between May 17, 2012 and April 30, 2020, and PEMCO used an estimate that contained a "typical negotiation" deduction as part of the process in valuing your vehicle. 


  • Each Class Member’s payment will depend on the total loss value paid by PEMCO in which the estimate used a “typical negotiation” deduction. Each Class Member is entitled to submit a claim. For Class Members who qualify for a payment, because their total loss was settled involving an estimate which took a “typical negotiation” deduction, the payment will be an amount, not paid to you previously, up to the amount of the “typical negotiation” deduction, less a percentage that the Court may award for attorneys fees and costs, and less any successful challenge amounts. PEMCO has the right under the Settlement to challenge any Valid Claim Form that is submitted. Not everyone who submits a Valid Claim Form will be eligible for payment.

  • To qualify for a payment, eligible Class Members needed to submit a valid Claim Form. The deadline to submit a valid Claim Form was June 17, 2021 and has passed.


  • The Court held a hearing on May 7, 2021 approving of the Settlement. Under the Settlement, payment will be made to Eligible Class Members after certain steps in the settlement process are completed, including the Challenge Process described in the Settlement.


  • Unless you opt out of the Class, you are in the Class, which means that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against PEMCO about the factual and legal issues in this case. It also means that all the Court’s orders in this case will apply to you and legally bind you.


  • You had the right to exclude yourself from the Class and give up the right to your share of the Settlement amount. The deadline to exclude yourself was April 23, 2021 and has passed. 

  • No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue the Defendant for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class if you want to prosecute your own lawsuit.


  • No. You will not receive a payment from the Settlement if you exclude yourself.


  • The deadline to object to the Settlement was April 23, 2021 and has passed. 

  • Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement but that you will remain a Settlement Class Member. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement. Excluding yourself from the Settlement is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.

  • Yes. The following attorneys represent you, Plaintiff, and the other Class Members:

    Stephen M. Hansen
    Law Offices of Stephen M. Hansen, P.S.
    1821 Dock Street, Suite 103
    Tacoma, Washington 98402

    Scott P. Nealey
    Law Office of Scott P. Nealey
    315 Montgomery Street, 10th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94111

    These lawyers are called “Class Counsel.” You will not be charged for these lawyers’ work in securing the Settlement benefits for you and the other Class Members. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

  • Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees of up to twenty-seven percent of the entire Settlement amount of $14,110,030.44 and out-of-pocket costs of up to $44,502.63, according to the terms of the Settlement Agreement.


  • The Court held a hearing on May 7, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. before the honorable Judge Chuschcoff. At the hearing, the Court considered whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court also granted final approval of the Settlement. 


  • The hearing was on May 7, 2021 and has passed. 

  • The hearing was on May 7, 2021 and has passed. 


  • This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a complete copy of the Settlement Agreement and other information by going to the Important Documents page. You may also contact the Settlement Administrator by going to the Contact Us page.


For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.


PEMCO Total Loss Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91341
Seattle, WA 98111