A $110,000 settlement was entered by a Texas-based Lincoln-Mercury dealership to resolve a complaint by a customer on mishandling a trade-in and not being able to pay off the loan on the vehicle.
They reached the settlement after a Dallas County judge decided on the fraud and consumer protection lawsuit and ordered Plano Lincoln-Mercury Inc. to pay about $94,000 in damages to Gerald Medow.
It would also have to pay an additional $31,999 in attorney fees. During the trial last March, a jury decided that Medow has to be awarded actual damages amounting to $23,467 plus $200,000 under the consumer protection law.
Plaintiff's lawyer Jacob Jones of Plano said that District Judge Carl Ginsberg reduced the amount added to $70,400, from $200,000 previously. It’s because awards are limited to triple the actual damages under the state deceptive practices law.
Court documents show that Medow brought in a 2003 Infiniti FX45 to trade in so that he can purchase a new 2009 Lincoln MKX at the dealership, whose official business name is David McDavid Lincoln-Mercury of Plano. Jones admitted that the Infiniti wasn’t traded in by other dealerships due to Medow's negative equity.
Jones explained that Medow sought to cut his overhead. Medow asserted that the McDavid salesman told him that the loan balance on the Infiniti will be covered.
The salesman had also supposedly said that Medow may bring in the Lincoln after 11 months and he will receive a different vehicle with lower monthly payments and a lower interest rate.
Court papers indicate that the retail sales agreement didn’t cite the trade. Medow also didn’t get paperwork to confirm the cancellation of his Infiniti registration.
He came to know later that the loan wasn’t paid, the registration remained in his name, and his Infiniti had racked up hundreds of dollars in tolls. Medow asked his Infiniti to be returned and it eventually was dropped off. However, it didn’t have the keys and it was already damaged. Court papers say that it was then repossessed by the lender.