SmithMarco wins another Lemon Law trial
Latesha Clemons purchased a 2007 Nissan Pathfinder from a
dealership in central Illinois. The vehicle only had 12,800
miles on it at the time of purchase, and thus, was still
covered under the manufacturer’s original warranty.
Unfortunately for Ms. Clemons, her first year of ownership of
the vehicle was loaded with problems. Within that first year,
she was required to bring the vehicle in for repairs on seven (7)
different occasions. On four (4) of those occasions, the
vehicle had to be towed into a repair facility as it broke down
leaving Ms. Clemons stranded.
Ms. Clemons found SmithMarco, PC and came to us for help.
We filed a lawsuit on her behalf alleging that Nissan had violated
the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act for failing to repair the defects
in the vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts. Nissan
balked. They refused to acknowledge that the vehicle was
defective, and refused to acknowledge that they were unable to
repair the vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts.
Nissan argued that even though the vehicle had to undergo a number
of repairs and replacement parts, and even though Ms. Clemons had
to endure the aggravation of having her car towed in multiple
times, the vehicle was finally ultimately fixed. Thus, Nissan
claimed, they should not be indebted to Ms. Clemons for what she
suffered through that time.
The jury disagreed and sided with Ms. Clemons, finding that she
was entitled to just under $5,000 for her troubles. The case
was hard fought. Unfortunately, throughout the pending
lawsuit, the case was erroneously dismissed. The trial court
believed that since the vehicle was sold by the dealership “as-is”
that it meant that Plaintiff had no recourse for her
problems. SmithMarco stuck to the case, and appealed the
court’s decision. SmithMarco provided to the appeals court
that a manufacturer is still responsible under the original
warranty regardless of whether a dealership disclaims its own
warranties and sells a vehicle “as-is”. The appellate court
agreed with us and sent the case back to trial.
SmithMarco partner David Marco handled the trial. After a
hard fought three days, the jury decided the case within just a few
hours, awarding Plaintiff everything that was asked.
SmithMarco handles lemon law cases – and successfully. If you
are driving a lemon, call us for help.