I am happy to report a Dealer Fraud trial success. On Monday, April 2, 2018, a civil jury in Philadelphia found that Pacifico Ford had fraudulently misrepresented a vehicle sold to my client, had acted outrageously, and imposed punitive damages. The jury found that Pacifico Ford had committed fraud and violated the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
My client alleged that he went to Pacifico Ford seeking a safe and reliable vehicle for his disabled wife. My client alleged that Pacifico Ford had used a so-called “clean” Carfax to misrepresent that the vehicle had not been in any accidents or damaged. Pacifico Ford admitted that it gave my client such a Carfax.
Pacifico Ford admitted that it knew that Carfax reports were not reliable. Pacifico Ford admitted that no one with any experience in the industry would ever conclude or assert that a vehicle was never in an any accidents or damaged based on a Carfax report. Pacifico Ford also admitted that it had no policy or practice to warn customers about this.
In truth, the vehicle had been in a severe accident and had been severely damaged, including frame/structurally damaged, and was sold in a still damaged, including frame/structurally damaged condition. We had the damage and repair records.
The vehicle was sold with clamp marks indicating that an attempt had been made to pull the bent and twisted frame/structure back into shape. The passenger side airbag deployment sensor was hanging freely, rather than secured to the frame, which would prevent it from operating properly during a collision.
Pacifico Ford did not produce many inspection and service records despite repeated demand and a legal obligation to do so. Pacifico Ford’s General Manager signed two Affidavits indicating that he had no explanation for the missing records. However, at trial, the General Manager tried to say that the records had been shredded innocently as part of Pacifico Ford’s standard policy. He could not explain why he had not mentioned that in his Affidavits. The jury did not buy it.
The jury awarded my client $40,000 in compensatory damages and awarded him and imposed against Pacifico Ford $30,000 in punitive damages.
If you think you may be the victim of Dealer Fraud, then you should contact a qualified attorney promptly.