Tucker v. Martin Chevrolet (YC041309)

Hon. Bob Hight, Los Angeles County Superior Court

MOTOR VEHICLE:

Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiff, Michael Eric Tucker

Rene Korper, Esq. (Norman Taylor & Associates, Glendale, CA)

Defendant, General Motors Corporation

Matthew Proudfoot, Esq. (Gates, O’Doherty, Gonter & Guy)

Defendant, Martin Chevrolet

Elizabeth L. Kolar, Esq. (Kolar & Associates, Santa Ana)

FACTS & CONTENTIONS:

Plaintiff, Tucker purchased a used 1998 Chevrolet 1500 truck from Martin Chevrolet. Mr. Tucker alleged that the car had various mechanical issues and that GMC and Martin Chevrolet breached various express and implied warranties to him.  He sued General Motors Corporation and Martin Chevrolet under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.  Defendants denied Plaintiff’s allegations.

OUTCOME:

Defense verdict for dealership, Martin Chevrolet.

Finamore, Ted v. Galpin Motors, Ford Motor Company (LC065545)

Hon. Stanley M. Weisberg, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys

CONSUMER LAW:

Fraud/Song-Beverly Warranty Act

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiff, Ted Finamore-Rene Korper (Norman Taylor & Associates, Glendale)

Defendant, Galpin Motors- Elizabeth L. Kolar (Kolar & Associates, Santa Ana);

Defendant, Ford Motor Co.-Bob McPhail (Bowman & Brooke, Gardena)

FACTS & CONTENTIONS:

The Plaintiff, Ted Finamore purchased a new Mercury Marauder from Galpin Lincoln Mercury and filed suit under the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the Song-Beverly Warranty Act.  He alleged that the vehicle he purchased had sustained material body and frame damage prior to being sold to him and that the vehicle had non-conformities.  In fact, the vehicle’s door had the left front door repainted but was well within the statutory safe harbor of 3% or $500 of the MSRP whichever is greater.  He also alleged that the vehicle suffered from various non-conformities which the defendants denied.

DAMAGES:

Plaintiff claimed $65,000 in damages for rescission plus attorney’s fees.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS:

The Plaintiff demanded $65,000 including rescission and attorney’s fees.  The defense offered $2,500 including attorney’s fees.

JURY TRIAL:

Jury Trial lasted 7 days ending in a 12-0 defense verdict for Defendant, Galpin on the CLRA claim and 9-3 defense verdict on the Song-Beverly Warranty Act claims as to Galpin and Ford Motor Company.

VERDICT:

Defense Verdict

Hays v. Anderson Chevrolet Chrysler Plymouth

Santa Clara County Superior Court case no. 1-03-CV003923

Hon. Leslie Nichols

CONSUMER LAW:

Breach of Contract

Violations of Song-Beverly Warranty Act (Lemon Law)

Unfair Competition Law

Fraud/Misrepresentation

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiff, Linda Hays was represented by William C. Dresser

(Law Offices of William C. Dresser)

Defendant, Anderson Chevrolet was represented by Elizabeth L. Kolar, Esq.

(Kolar & Associates)

FACTS & CONTENTIONS:

On January 9, 2002, Ms. Hays met with Anderson Chevrolet’s Fleer Car Manager and ordered a 2002 Chevrolet Camaro with specific options including a 6 way power seat.  On February 19, 2002, Anderson Chevrolet had the vehicle delivered to Ms. Hays.  Upon sitting in the car, Ms. Hays noticed the vehicle did not come equipped with a driver’s power seat.  Ms. Hays also claimed there was a “rippling” in the windshield which caused a distortion making the vehicle difficult to drive.

Anderson Chevrolet replaced the windshield at no cost to Ms. Hays.  Ms. Hays claimed the replacement windshield was no better than the original and that it still had the same distortion.  The dealership refused to replace it a second time because Ms. Hays had approved the replacement windshield.  Ms. Hays claimed that the replacement windshield was still unacceptable and had a windshield installed through a glass company at a cost of approximately $500.00.

As for the power seat, Anderson Chevrolet offered Plaintiff a full refund of the purchase price of the vehicle which she refused.  Thereafter, Anderson Chevrolet offered to retrofit the seat with an after-market power seat at its cost which Ms. Hays also refused.  Lastly, Anderson Chevrolet offered Ms. Hays a replacement vehicle in a darker color with a power seat.  She also refused the latter option.

Plaintiff alleges that she has a pre-existing back condition which required her to have a power seat in her vehicle and claims that she had suffered an exacerbation of her back injury.  Anderson Chevrolet denied that Plaintiff had suffered any damages and that Ms. Hays failed to mitigate her damages.

DEMANDS/OFFERS:

Plaintiff demanded $32,000 pre-trial.  Defendant made a settlement offer of $7,000 to Linda Hays pre-trial.

OUTCOME-DEFENSE VERDICT:

Defendant’s brought a motion for non-suit which was granted as to all causes of action except breach of contract.  After a one week jury trial regarding the breach of contract issue, the jury found in favor of Anderson Chevrolet and Anderson Chevrolet was awarded its costs of over $5,000.00.

Hart v. AutoWest Dodge, et al. 145 Cal.App.4th 495

Placer County Superior Court case no. SCV16942

Hon. Larry D. Gaddis

California Court of Appeal, 3rd Appellate District case no. C050384

Justice Richard Sims III

Presiding Justices, Coleman Blease and Fred Morrison

CONSUMER LAW:

Violation of Vehicle Leasing Act

Unfair Competition Law

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiff/Appellant, Lisa Hart- Sharon L. Kinsey, Esq. (Kinsey Consumer Law Center)

Defendant/Respondent, AutoWest Dodge – Elizabeth L. Kolar, Esq. (Kolar & Associates)

FACTS:

On April 27, 2000, Plaintiff, Lisa Hart leased a 2000 Dodge Durango (Vehicle 1) from defendant dealership for $430 per month.  The next day, she allegedly “discovered” it did not have a third back seat.  On April 29, 2000, Plaintiff returned the vehicle to Defendant and signed a new lease contract for another 2000 Dodge Durango (Vehicle 2) which had a third back seat.  Plaintiff alleged she was not told of the price increase regarding the lease of the 2nd vehicle.  In December 2002, plaintiff was unable to maintain the monthly payments and voluntarily returned the vehicle to terminate the contract.  On December 1, 2003, Plaintiff filed her Complaint for damages of $50,000.

PLAINTIFF’S CONTENTIONS:

Plaintiff alleged that AutoWest Dodge violated the Vehicle Leasing Act and Business and Professions Code §17200 by failing to disclose certain aspects of the transaction.  Plaintiff demanded rescission, punitive damages and attorney fees in the amount of $100,000.

DEFENDANT’S CONTENTIONS:

AutoWest Dodge fully disclosed the terms of the transaction to Plaintiff who was trying to get out of the deal because she had buyer’s remorse and could no longer afford the vehicle.  Defendant offered Plaintiff $1,500 to settle.

OUTCOME-DEFENSE VERDICT:

The case came before the court on April 4, 2005 to start a jury trial.  After several motions in limine, AutoWest Dodge moved for Non-Suit based on Plaintiff’s inability to provide evidence supporting her claims.  Defendant’s Motion was granted and the court dismissed Plaintiff’s case.  AutoWest Dodge then made a Motion to Recover its attorney fess in the amount of $51,580.16.  The court granted AutoWest Dodge’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Judgment was entered in AutoWest Dodge’s favor in the amount of $51,580.16.

On August 1, 2005, Plaintiff appealed the judgment.  The Appellate Court affirmed the ruling and awarded AutoWest Dodge its attorney’s fees and costs totaling $51,580.16 against Plaintiff.

Manahan v. Hayward Dodge, et al. (CGC-03-426028)

Hon. Peter J. Busch-San Francisco County Superior Court

CONSUMER LAW

Violation of Automobile Sales Finance Act

Violation of Business and Professions Code §17200

Fraud/Deceit

ATTORNEYS

Plaintiff, Alessandro Manahan: George D. Berglund, Esq.

Defendants, AutoNation, Hayward Dodge and Triad Financial: Elizabeth L. Kolar, Esq. (Kolar & Associates)

FACTS

Plaintiff purchased a used 2001 Hyundai X6300 from Defendant, Hayward Dodge in July of 2002.  The vehicle was financed through Triad Financial.  Mr. Manahan alleged that Defendants made misrepresentations to him during the sales transaction such as the dealership telling him that he was buying a new 2002 car when, in fact, he was purchasing a used 2001 car, failing to separately itemize the insurance binder, failing to disclose alleged prior accident damage and failing to give him a rebate.  Mr. Manahan sought to rescind the contract.

PRIOR SETTLEMENT DEMANDS

Defendants offered Plaintiff $2,500.

DEFENSE VERDICT

Jury found for Defendants on all causes of action.  The Trial Court found that Mr. Manahan was not entitled to any relief.  As the prevailing parties, Defendants were awarded $178,427.64 in attorney’s fees and costs.

Duplantis v. Fullerton Dodge, Inc. (04CC11590)

Hon. Ron Bauer – Orange County Superior Court

EMPLOYMENT

Unlawful and Unfair Business Practices

Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy

Breach of Contract

Unpaid Wages in Violation of Labor Code §201

Fraud

False Promise

Negligent Misrepresentation

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiff, Wayne Duplantis

Charles Matheis, Esq. (BEAM, BROBECK & WEST, LLP)

Defendant, Fullerton Dodge, Inc.

Elizabeth L. Kolar, Esq. (Kolar & Associates- Santa Ana, CA)

FACTS:

Plaintiff, Wayne Duplatis was an employee of Fullerton Dodge Inc. who sued the dealership for wrongful termination based on the allegation that he was offered employment at the dealership for as long as he desired. The dealership alleged he was an at-will employee. He further alleged that Fullerton Dodge engaged in “payment packing” resulting in his termination based upon retaliatory motives when he complained. Fullerton Dodge, Inc. denied all of Plaintiff’s allegations.

JURY TRIAL:

Plaintiff demanded over $500,000. Verdict for Plaintiff of $13,000.

Gutierrez v. Power Dodge Valencia (Case no. BC330967)

Los Angeles County Superior Court

Hon. Kenneth Freeman

CONSUMER LAW:

Fraud

Negligence

Violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”)

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiffs, Jose Gutierrez and Gabriel Casimiro

Steven A. Simons. Esq. (Law Offices of Steven A. Simons)

Defendant, Power Dodge Valencia

Elizabeth L. Kolar, Esq. (Kolar & Associates)

FACTS & CONTENTIONS:

Plaintiff Jose Gutierrez traded in his 2003 Dodge Ram for a 2004 Dodge Ram SLT. Plaintiff contended that Power Dodge Valencia deceptively promised that the trade in value of his vehicle was lower than promised resulting in his having to pay the difference of more than $7,000 after he purchased the vehicle. He further alleged that the salesperson misled him to purchase add-ons such as a Gap Contract and vehicle alarm system. Lastly, Plaintiff alleged that he was not given a Spanish translation contract.  Power Dodge Valencia denied all Plaintiffs’ allegations.

OUTCOME:

Judgment for Power Dodge Valencia and award of fees and costs against Plaintiff for over $70,000.

 

Doppes v. Bentley Motor Cars (04CC06715)

Hon. William Monroe, Orange County Superior Court

MOTOR VEHICLE:

Consumer Fraud

Failure to Disclose

Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act

Magnuson-Moss Consumer Warranty Act

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiff, August B. Doppes

Jeffrey S. Benice, Esq. (The Law Office of Jeffrey S. Benice, Costa Mesa)

Defendants, Bentley Motors, Inc.

Jonathon H. Kaplan, Esq. (Kaplan Lee LLP, Los Angeles)

Defendants, Newport Auto Center

Elizabeth L. Kolar, Esq. (Kolar & Associates, Santa Ana)

FACTS & CONTENTIONS:

The Plaintiff, Mr. Doppes, purchased a new Bentley Arnage at a cost of approximately $200,000. The plaintiff’s complaint was that the car emitted a “foul mechanical wax oil smell.” He sued Bentley Motors and Newport Auto Center under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and Magnuson-Moss Consumer Warranty Act. In addition, the Plaintiff sued Newport Auto Center for failure to disclose pre-sale damage.  Defendants denied any non-conformity with the vehicle. Newport Auto Center further alleged that the pre-sale did not need to be disclosed because it did not meet the threshold requirement under Vehicle Code §9990.

DAMAGES:

The Plaintiff sought rescission and Bentley Motors, Inc. refused. The Plaintiff sought further damages from Newport Auto Center for the alleged non-disclosure. Newport Auto Center refused contending that the pre-sale damage did not meet the threshold for disclosure and, further, that the vehicle had been repaired satisfactorily.

DEMANDS/OFFER:

Plaintiff demanded rescission. Bentley Motors, Inc. offered a nominal sum pre-trial. Newport Auto Center offered a nominal sum pre-trial.

OUTCOME:

The jury found Mr. Doppes was entitled to rescission against Bentley Motors, Inc. only. The jury found in favor of Newport Auto Center on all causes of action and further granted Newport Auto Center its costs of suit.

Nava v. Power Chevrolet El Monte (KC045993)

Hon. Robert A. Dukes-Los Angeles County Superior Court

PERSONAL INJURY:

Negligence

Personal Injury

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiff, Jessie Prieto Nava

Robert Fink, Esq. (Law Offices of Robert Fink – Los Angeles, CA)

Defendant, Power Chevrolet El Monte

Elizabeth L. Kolar, Esq. (Kolar & Associates- Santa Ana, CA)

FACTS:

Plaintiff Jessie Nava sued Power Chevrolet El Monte after a slip and fall accident on the premises of the dealership. Plaintiff alleged that the employees at Power Chevrolet El Monte created an unsafe condition on the premises by washing cars near the entrance of the showroom. Plaintiff alleged she slipped in the water resulting in torn ligaments in her knee and surgery. Power Chevrolet El Monte denied they created a dangerous condition and further disputed the cause of Nava’s injuries.

JURY TRIAL:

Defense verdict for Power Chevrolet El Monte.

Olson v. Power Toyota Irvine (05CC12180)

Hon. James J. Di Cesare, Orange County Superior Court

MOTOR VEHICLE:

Consumer Fraud

ATTORNEYS:

Plaintiff, Hannah Olson

John B. Dumbeck, Esq. (Dumbeck & Dumbeck, Vista, CA)

Defendants, Irvine Imports, Inc. dba Power Toyota Irvine, Brian Cole, Dino Gulo and Toyota Motor Credit Corporation

Elizabeth L. Kolar, Esq. (Kolar & Associates, Santa Ana)

FACTS & CONTENTIONS:

Twenty year old Hannah Olson purchased a 2004 Toyota Tacoma truck and later had a change of heart.  At the time of purchase, she added on various aftermarket products including a service contract, a maintenance agreement, a gap contract and an alarm system. All of these items were properly identified in the contract and Hannah Olson initialed and signed all supporting addendums but she nonetheless alleged she did not understand that she had purchased them. Plaintiff sued the dealership for fraud contending that the Finance Manager failed to explain the aftermarket products to her and that there was a separate charge for them. Power Toyota Irvine denied Plaintiff’s allegations.

DEMANDS/OFFER:

Plaintiff’s demand was full rescission of contract and attorneys fees and costs. Defendants offered $500.

OUTCOME:

Defense verdict for Power Toyota Irvine. Power Toyota Irvine was also awarded costs of $5,000.00 against Plaintiff.