Court: Ford store owes Edge buyer damages
A Ford store in Baton Rouge, La., has lost its bid to overturn a $34,702 damage award to purchasers of a 2008 Edge demo who were not told that the vehicle had been seriously damaged in an accident while being driven by a dealership employee.
The Louisiana Court of Appeal has upheld the award against Robinson Brothers Ford and ordered that the transaction be rescinded, finding there was sufficient evidence the store intentionally withheld that the SUV had been badly damaged in a front-end collision and, instead, blamed paint defects on a "minor fender-bender" in a parking lot or "slight hail damage."
The dealership's lawyer did not return calls seeking comment.
The plaintiffs, Steven Liggett and his wife, chose the demo because it was the store's only Edge with a panoramic sunroof, the court said.
Liggett was an experienced car salesman who formerly worked at the dealership, the court said. When he noticed the repainting, the salesman and sales manager assured the couple that it was inconsequential, and they accepted a $500 discount in lieu of further repairs.
But after the Edge developed shifting and electrical problems three months later, they discovered the extent of damage that occurred when a Robinson Brothers Ford employee rear-ended a truck on an Interstate. The truck's trailer hitch went through the Edge's radiator, and the SUV was towed to the dealership, where it underwent $3,680 worth of repairs.
The Liggetts sued for damages and to rescind the deal. The award at a nonjury trial was about $3,000 more than the amount they had paid for the vehicle, including fees, taxes, guaranteed asset protection and a service contract.
On appeal, the unanimous three-judge panel upheld the store's liability and the verdict. But it denied the Liggetts' request for additional damages to reimburse their interest and insurance costs.
You can reach Eric Freedman at email@example.com.