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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Dealer alleged to have concealed vehicle’s engine defects — $104,137.07 verdict

Dealer alleged to have concealed vehicle’s engine defects — $104,137.07 verdict

Type of action: Federal Odometer Act, fraud, Virginia Consumer Protection Act, Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

Injuries alleged: Diminished value, loss of use, inconvenience, aggravation, punitive damages and legal fees

Name of case: Jackson v. Great Bridge Auto Sales Corp.

Court: U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond

Case no.: Civil Action No. 3:20cv611

Tried before: Judge

Name of judge or mediator: Judge M. Hannah Lauck

Date resolved: 5/5/2021

Special damages: $26,740.76 actual damages ($8,265.65 – diminished value; $15,975.04 – loss of use; $2,500 – inconvenience and aggravation); trebled under the VCPA = $80,222.07; $10,000 statutory damages – Federal Odometer Act; $13,915.00 for legal fees as permitted by the VCPA and the Federal Odometer Act (23.5 hours @ $550/hr)

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $104,137.07

Attorney for plaintiff (and city): John Cole Gayle Jr., Richmond

Description of case: This fraud case involved deliberate concealment of the defects in the vehicle’s engine, the vehicle body, misrepresentations about the vehicle’s mileage, plus sale of a service contract that was void since it would not apply to any mechanical problems existing at the time of purchase. Defendant was advised about the engine defects prior to sale to the plaintiff by the Nissan dealer it took it to for a diagnostic, but then chose not to replace the engine as it had been advised to do. It also covered up a hole in the floor board, extending into the frame underneath with floor mat and carpeting it stuffed into the hole, and it sold the car disclosing an understated odometer reading even though it had records indicating the odometer disclosure it made was higher than that. The defendant had no idea what the mileage actually was at the time of sale since it never checked the odometer reading at that time.

Suit was filed in Norfolk federal court, but since the plaintiff was an assistant U.S. attorney there, it was transferred to Richmond. Defendant never answered the lawsuit, and default judgment was granted, with the court entering judgment for plaintiff in the total amount of $104, 137.07, plus interest from July 8, 2019.