Man who failed to heed mechanic's advice sues when truck breaks down

David Yates Feb. 20, 2008, 12:24pm

An auto mechanic tried to warn Mark Sandifer that his truck needed repairs. When Sandifer's truck broke down, his insurance claim was denied because Sandifer failed to heed the mechanic's advice.

Now, Sandifer has filed suit against E-7 Enterprises (Precision Tune Auto Care), claiming the mechanic misrepresented the condition of his truck and cost him his insurance claim.

Sandifer's suit was filed in the Jefferson County District Court on Feb. 14.

According to the plaintiff's petition, on Nov. 8, 2007, Sandifer took his 1999 Ford F-150 pickup to Precision Tune Auto Care in Port Arthur to have the oil changed before he left on a trip. He was told by one of the technicians he needed to have some additional work done on his truck, and estimated the work to cost in excess of $700. Sandifer told the technician to just do the oil & filter change and nothing more.

"That same night, as Mr. Sandifer was approaching Marshall, Texas, the truck engine began to make noise and the oil pressure gauge went down," the suit said. "He pulled over and checked to see if there was oil underneath the truck. There was no oil to be seen underneath the truck or on the engine. Mr. Sandier got the truck to the Ford dealership in Marshall.

"The morning of Nov. 9, 2007, Mr. Sandifer talked to someone at the Ford dealership about his truck. He asked that his truck be repaired enough to get him back home. He was told the truck engine had no oil, and there were no signs of any leaks. Mr. Sandifer was required to rent a car since his truck would be in the shop.

"On Nov. 15, 2007, Mr. Sandifer got his truck back to Port Arthur and took it to Energy Country Ford. The estimate of repairs was for the amount of $5,121.50. Plaintiff notified Defendant of the problems. Defendant tendered the issue to their insurance carrier. The claim was denied because Plaintiff was told he did not have his transmission serviced as recommended.

"Plaintiff believes that this denial was based on false and/or negligently transmitted information by Defendant to its carrier. Plaintiff believes Defendant is either negligently or intentionally covering up its negligence."

Sandifer is accusing the auto service of fraud and misrepresentation, claiming its mechanics failed to properly service his truck's engine.

He is suing for actual and punitive damages, plus mental anguish and court costs.

Sandifer is represented by Hart Green of the Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell law firm.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E181-250

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