Car owner sues Dickinson auto repair shop, alleging interference with property rights

By Molly English-Bowers | Sep 11, 2015

A Galveston County woman is suing a Dickinson auto repair shop and an employee, alleging interference with her property rights.

Jennifer Okolo filed the lawsuit June 26 in Galveston County District Court against Dominic's Frame and Body Shop in Dickinson, and Francois Hoarau.

According to the complaint, Okolo was in a car accident in which 2011 BMW suffered minor damage and she called the defendant, seeking an estimate. The suit says Hoarau came to her residence and drove the vehicle to the shop for an estimate but she didn't agree to the defendant fixing the vehicle.

Instead of providing the plaintiff with an estimate, the suit says, Hoarau called her insurance company without her permission, requesting the insurance check be sent directly to him. Once she became aware of this, the lawsuit states Okolo requested an estimate from the defendant and asked the insurance company to stop payment on the check.

The suit says Okolo went to the shop to tell the defendant she was going to take her car elsewhere, but said she owed him $707 for work, storage and towing, even though the car wasn't towed. On June 15, the plaintiff says she went back to the shop to get an estimate, and the defendant again refused, saying she had to pay him first. He further began to verbally assault the plaintiff, saying he knows where she lives, the suit says. He also called the police because he said she was trespassing, the complaint states.

The plaintiff alleges the defendant interfered with her property rights, and is guilty of intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conversion--taking and altering the plaintiff's vehicle without permission or knowledge.

Okolo seeks actual and consequential damages, attorney fees and court costs.

She is represented by attorney Colleen M. McClure of Houston.

Galveston County District Court case number CV-0074530.

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