Performance Auto Collision Center Incorporated ("Performance Auto") appeals from the trial court's order granting summary judgment to Bridgefield Casualty Insurance Company ("Bridgefield") in this dispute over reclassification of Performance Auto's workers for purposes of determining the total amount of premium due under a workers' compensation policy issued by Bridgefield for the policy year beginning in February 2013 and ending in February 2014 (the "2013-2014 Policy Period"). As more fully set forth below, we now reverse.
Performance Auto operates an automobile repair and body shop at several locations in Alpharetta, Georgia. In 2012, Performance Auto applied for workers' compensation insurance with Bridgefield. At the time the initial policy was issued and during the subsequent renewal at issue here, Performance Auto's employees were assigned to two separate classifications — clerical and auto body painting/repair — for the purpose of assessing the insurable risk which, along with payroll, would broadly speaking determine the initial policy premium.
In October 2014, Bridgefield performed a final audit for the 2013-2014 Policy Period ("Final Audit"), which resulted in a reclassification of certain employees and an increase of $27,497.38 in the final premium amount billed to Performance Auto.
Bridgefield filed a motion for summary judgment based on the Final Audit and a December 2013 inspection and classification report conducted at Performance Auto's behest by the National Council on Compensation Insurance ("NCCI"), which found that the front office workers should be classified as auto body repair instead of clerical because the front office area was not physically separated from the body repair part of the building by walls and partitions.
Performance Auto opposed the motion, arguing that an audit performed by a different insurer for the 2014-2015 year ("Subsequent Audit"), supported its classification of certain front office workers as clerical. Performance Auto also submitted the affidavit of its owner, Sal Akturk ("Akturk affidavit"), who opined that the job duties, descriptions, functions, and physical locations of its employees had remained the same during the 2013-2014 Policy Period through the date of the Subsequent Audit. Performance Auto also submitted the affidavit of its insurance account representative Allison Wooten ("Wooten affidavit"), who opined she was familiar with Performance Auto's business operations and physical layout during both the Policy Period and Subsequent Audit time frame and that its business operations, including the duties of its employees, and physical layout had remained the same during the two consecutive policy periods. Wooten also attached photographs to her affidavit, which she averred showed that the front office area was physically separated from the repair part of the shop by partitions and walls, contrary to the findings stated in the NCCI report. Performance Auto argues that this evidence is sufficient to create a jury issue concerning the factors that should be used to classify its employees and which employees should be classified as clerical or body repair workers.
Judgment reversed. Barnes, P. J., and Mercier, J., concur.