Today I wish to report on a small victory for the consumer. My consumer client purchased a used car from a Gwinnett County used car dealer. She told the dealer she needed a reliable car. She asked if the specific car had ever been wrecked. She remarked that the paint looked new. The dealer responded that the car had not been wrecked and that she had had the car repainted because the paint had faded. The car had not been wrecked. My client paid $3,923 for the car.
Non-Disclosure of Salvage Title
Within 18 days my client learned that the car had been salvaged and a salvage title had been issued. The dealer tried to dupe her into signing documents to allow for a state inspection so that the dealer could obtain a rebuilt title. The client was on the way to return the vehicle when it broke down. The dealer promised her she would repair the vehicle and had it towed to her dealership. The dealer later resold the car to another consumer victim and never repaid my client. Judge Doran found in favor of the consumer on a bench trial, awarded her the $3,923, trebled for an intentional violation of the Ga FBPA, awarded punitive damages in the sum of $15,000, and awarded attorneys fees. We will attempt to collect the judgment against the dealer and her bond.
Several attorneys had turned away the plaintiff because the damages were not large. However, we can win small victories in cases like these and hopefully make a difference for consumers.