Dallas, TX: A Dallas, Texas jury awarded a local couple more than $21,000 after agreeing a Dallas-based used car dealer knowingly sold them a crash-damaged vehicle without disclosing the damage, blatantly violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The verdict was announced on March 30, 2022 in the 134th Civil District Court, presided over by Hon. Dale Tillery. Not only did the jury award the couple $21,400.86 in damages, the jury also found the defendant responsible for paying the couple’s entire amount of attorney’s fees. Allen Stewart P.C. represented the couple under a contingent fee agreement, meaning they didn’t have to pay any attorney’s fees unless and until the law firm successfully resolved their case.
The plaintiffs of Sarah Clark and Jeremy Clark v. North Central Autohaus Inc. proved the dealership knew the 2017 Infiniti Q50 they sold the couple was damaged but sold it to the Clarks anyway without telling the Clark’s about the damage.
Allen Stewart P.C. attorney Andrew Ross, who represented the Clarks, said the couple purchased the 2017 Infinity Q50 from Central Autohaus in September 2018. During the purchase process, the dealership used a clean CARFAX report with no indications of damage or other problems with the vehicle to convince the Clarks the car had no problems. Shortly after the purchase, however, the couple noticed a “wind noise” while driving the vehicle. Central Autohaus said the vehicle was still within its original factory warranty protection period, so the Clarks took it to an Infiniti dealer for repair.
Technicians at the Infiniti dealership discovered structural damage to the vehicle and told the Clarks they would not repair the vehicle under warranty. Thereafter, the Clarks ran another CARFAX report, which showed collision damage.
Ross said a local collision repair shop found damage on the vehicle consistent with damage disclosed to Central Autohaus when the dealer bought the vehicle at auction in May 2018 in California – damage the dealer did not disclose to the Clarks when selling the vehicle. Central Autohaus’ misrepresentation of the true condition of the vehicle violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
“The jury agreed Central Autohaus knowingly and intentionally committed violations,” Ross said. “The dealership knew, at minimum, the car sustained some damage. They shared none of this.”
Ross said the dealership at first denied they knew about the damage, but later tried to argue they indeed disclosed the damage when they in fact did not.
“It’s almost as if the Clarks were being gaslit by this dealership,” Ross said. “I’m proud to see a Dallas jury held this used car dealership accountable for being deceptive. This should send a message to other dealers that it’s not ok to defraud your customers.”
Scott Frieling was lead trial counsel for the Clarks. Andrew Ross was co-trial counsel and worked the case up for trial.
About Allen Stewart, P.C.
The consumer protection attorneys of Allen Stewart, P.C. have a long history of defending plaintiffs in the fields of breach of warranty, deceptive trade practices, consumer fraud and toxic exposure cases. When businesses take advantage of consumers and harm them through deception and fraud, negligence, product liability and conscious indifference, Allen Stewart P.C.’s attorneys fight to hold these companies accountable for the harm they cause.