Wrecked Hyundai sold as new leads to fraud suit

Marilyn Tennissen Jul. 9, 2007, 7:42am

Ruthie Williams and Jo Beth Byerly purchased what they believed was a new 2006 Hyundai Sonata from Philpott Motors, which had obtained the car through a dealer trade with Billy Navarre Chervolet Honda Hyundai.

But after the purchase, Williams claims that she discovered that the car had been in a previous wreck that was not disclosed to her.

Plaintiffs filed a deceptive trade lawsuit against Philpott and Navarre on July 5 in Jefferson County District Court.

"Plaintiff was lead to believe by defendants that she was purchasing said car 'new,' but instead purchased a wrecked Hyundai, which was passed off as 'new,'" the original petition claims. "Before the sale of the car, and to induce plaintiff into buying the car, defendants misrepresented the condition of the car."

Had the "truth been disclosed" the plaintiffs say they "would not have entered the contract."

Williams says she made numerous attempts to contact defendants, but "was ignored and avoided."

The plaintiffs claim the actions of Philpott and Navarre were committed knowingly and intentionally.

"Defendants took advantage of plaintiff's lack of knowledge, ability, experience or capacity to a grossly unfair degree," the petition states.

Because the defendants violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the plaintiff says they are liable under the theory of negligent misrepresentation and fraud.

Williams and Byerly claim the auto dealers' conduct "rises to the level of gross negligence and malice," common-law fraud and breach of contract.

Plaintiffs seek general damages, special and consequential damages, exemplary damages, attorney's fees, costs of suit and recession of contract.

In addition, plaintiff seeks treble damages.

"For defendants' misrepresentations, breaches of warranties and unconscionable conduct, plaintiffs are entitled to three times their economic damages," the suit says. "Plaintiffs are entitled to damages for mental anguish, and they also ask for three times her economic damages."

Mark Sparks of the Provost Umphrey Law Firm is representing the plaintiffs. They have requested a trial by jury.

The Case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield of the 136th District Court.

Case No. D179-613

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