Lemon Law bench trial against Mike Smith Autoplex slated

David Yates Dec. 4, 2007, 8:59am

John Read and his lawyer will spend Wednesday morning attempting to convince Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, that Mike Smith Autoplex sold him a "lemon."

The bench trial is slated to begin Dec. 5.

Citing the Texas Lemon Law, Read filed a deceptive trade practices suit against Mike Smith Autoplex and General Motors on May 10, 2007. He claimed the 2006 Buick he purchased for $21, 397.89 was rusted out underneath.

The Texas Lemon Law is a state law that helps consumers who have repeated problems getting new or leased vehicles properly repaired.

Before the suit was filed, Read claims Mike Smith Autoplex allegedly refused to properly repair or replace the vehicle. Read's lawyer then sent a letter to the dealership threatening legal action unless he received a refund but the company refused to budge.

In turn, GM also filed an answer in response to Read's claims denying any wrongdoing.

Read will ask Sanderson to award him actual damages, plus additional monetary relief for mental anguish and lawyer fees.

According to Read's original petition, on Sept. 26, 2006, he purchased a 2006 Buick from Mike Smith. Copies of the sales agreement and certificate of title are attached to the suit.

"Defendants represented to plaintiff that such vehicle was new, safe, dependable and fit for the purpose for which it was marketed and sold," the suit said. Because of the representations, plaintiff purchased the…automobile for the total cash delivered price of $21, 397.89. Additionally, Plaintiff purchased after-market accessories for such vehicle at a total cost of at least $189.00."

When Read went to have the window tint installed on his "new" car, he was shown by the mechanic that the "vehicle was rusting out underneath," the suit said, adding that the mechanic advised him to get something done about the problem quickly or the vehicle would begin experiencing additional problems and become unsafe.

"When plaintiff returned the vehicle to Mike Smith's dealership, the…defendant's mechanic changed some bolts and told plaintiff there was nothing more he could do to repair the vehicle," the suit said.

"It immediately became clear to plaintiff that, in truth and in fact, defendants' representations concerning the condition of the vehicle were false, misleading and deceptive in that the vehicle was seriously defective and not fit for the purpose for which it was intended.

"More specifically, plaintiff would show that the vehicle, although sold as 'new' was most likely either used or floodwater damaged. The vehicle is unsafe and a danger to operate on the public streets and roadways."

Read is represented by Brandon Monk, a partner in the McPherson, Monk, Hughes, Bradley, Wimberley & Steele law firm.

Mike Smith Autoplex is represented by attorney David C. Routzon, Jr. of the Craddock David & Krause law firm.

Case No. B179-284

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