Texas City man files deceptive trade suit against auto dealership

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 19, 2008, 1:41am

GALVESTON – A Texas City man has filed suit against the Ford Motor Company and an auto dealership in Hempstead for alleged problems with his vehicle, court documents say.

In a deceptive trade lawsuit filed in Galveston County District Court on Nov. 14, Lawrence E. Schumacher Jr. claims Marshall Ford-Mercury of Hempstead sold him a shoddy pickup truck and failed to rectify the transaction.

"Plaintiff has had numerous problems with the vehicle," the original petition says.

Schumacher is seeking $45,000 in damages from the defendants.

Court papers say the plaintiff bought the vehicle in question – a 2008 Ford F50 – from Marshall Ford-Mercury for approximately $32,752.95 about nine months ago on Feb. 12. He claims he has subsequently experienced a plethora of troubles behind the wheel.

"Since purchase, the vehicle has encountered an excessive number of defects, including but not limited to issues with the vehicle's engine, fuel injectors, and other defects listed in the repair orders, warranty history, and identified through discovery," the suit explains.

The plaintiff states he returned the truck to Marshall Ford-Mercury in hopes of getting it fixed only to have the dealership ignore his complaints, arguing the defendants failed to honor the current warranty.

"The limited remedy in FMC's warranty fails of its essential purpose and deprives plaintiff of the substantial value of the bargain because FMC or its authorized dealerships did not correct the defects within a reasonable time," the suit says. "Therefore, any purported limitation of remedies is ineffective."

It adds the plaintiff requested a refund of the purchase price but did not receive one.

Schumacher says he has damaged due to the decrease of the vehicle's value, rising repair costs and out-of-pocket expenses, loss of use and a loss of earning capacity.

Overall, the suit accuses the defendants of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

"The exclusion of consequential and incidental damages is unconscionable and therefore unenforceable," it says.

The plaintiff, who is represented by Houston attorney Richard C. Dalton, demands a jury trial.

Galveston County 122nd District Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 08CV1152

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