Class Action Reinstated Against Safeway Premium Finance Company

On July 7, 2011, Florida’s highest court in Lazaro E. Sosa v. Safeway Premium Finance Company, No. SC09-1849 (July 7, 2011) reinstated a class action covering Safeway Premium Finance auto insurance customers who claim they were overcharged on six-month contracts. The case arose from Lazaro Sosa’s purchase of an automobile insurance policy from United Automobile Insurance Company (“United Auto”). To facilitate the purchase, Sosa entered into a six-month premium finance agreement with Safeway Premium Finance Company (“Safeway”), an affiliate of United Auto.  Sosa and the class members filed the lawsuit predicated upon Safeway knowingly overcharging them an additional service charge of $20 twice in a 12-month period in violation of Florida law. The Florida Supreme Court reinstated class certification holding that there was a clear need and benefit derived from class treatment. Justice Fred Lewis, writing for the majority, emphasized that whether Safeway “knowingly” overcharged Sosa is a question of fact for a jury, but there is no requirement to prove that element in a pre-trial motion for class certification. Justice Lewis further commented that the class members satisfied the commonality requirement of class certification since the claims arose from the same course of conduct and routine billing practice by Safeway and were based on the same legal theory (i.e. that Safeway knowingly overcharged the class members). This decision represents a clear victory for consumers who have been defrauded by big companies.  The attorneys at Balkan & Patterson, LLP are experienced in class action litigation and will act to protect consumers against corporate wrongdoers. If you believe you have potential for a class action, please contact us immediately and we will review your case at no charge.


The law firm of Balkan & Patterson, LLP was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, at 601 S. Federal Highway, Suite 302, with offices in Broward County. Mr. Balkan and Mr. Patterson can be contacted at (561) 750-9191. Additional information about Balkan & Patterson, LLP may be obtained from the firm’s website at

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