Car Dealership Gets "Clipped" for 2.3 Million Dollars for Fraud, Reports Law Office of C. Steven Moskos
Richland County Jury announces $2.38 million dollar verdict against Columbia Automotive Company, LLC d/b/a Midlands Honda for Fraud.
Charleston, South Carolina, May 11, 2016 (Newswire.com) - On March 22, 2016, following a five day trial, a Richland County, South Carolina Jury awarded Shelby, NC residents, Roger Whitley and Daniel O'Shields, $6,645.00 in actual damages and $2,381,888.00 in punitive/deterrent damages for failure to disclose prior wreck damage to a vehicle bought at auction. (Case No. 13-CP-400319)
Midlands Honda sold a “clipped” 2003 Honda Civic to Mr. Whitley at the ADESA Auto Auction in Charlotte North Carolina. A “clipped” car is one where two cars have been damaged, (one in the front, the other in the back), the damaged half of the car is cut off and the two undamaged parts are welded together.
Midlands Honda did a 159 point Honda certified pre-owned inspection of the Civic. The car was then sold to a customer without disclosure of the damage. The customer later discovered the damage and reported it to Midlands Honda. Midlands Honda would not refund the customer’s money. Instead, it required him to trade in the Civic on another car.
Midlands Honda then sent the car to Charlotte to be sold at a red light auction. North Carolina has a damage disclosure law which requires certain information to be shown to a buyer. The form showed the car had not been wrecked or reconstructed. While the auction’s rules also required Midlands Honda to disclose the prior unibody/frame damage, Midlands Honda did not do so.
C. Steven Moskos, a consumer lawyer who practices in Charleston, South Carolina, represented Roger Whitley and Daniel O’Shields, has spent the past thirty years protecting consumers, and believes this verdict goes a long way toward deterring future car dealerships from this fraudulent practice.
Post trial motions are now pending.
Source: Law Office of C. Steven Moskos