Massachusetts dealers appeal Tesla ruling
Massachusetts dealers are appealing a court’s dismissal of their lawsuit against electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc.
The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association Inc. and other dealership plaintiffs trying to block Tesla’s factory-owned stores filed an appeal Tuesday.
Their original lawsuit, filed in October, was dismissed by Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman on Dec. 31. Fishman said the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue.
Robert O’Koniewski, executive vice president of the dealers association, said in an e-mail that dealers are seeking an appeal because Tesla’s store model is clearly prohibited by Massachusetts' dealer franchise statute.
Amendments made to that statute in 2002 should give dealers and the dealers association the right to sue to prevent manufacturer-owned stores, he said.
“Tesla is spending considerable sums of money across the country in an effort to exploit what they see to be gaps in states’ franchise laws,” O’Koniewski said in the e-mail, adding that Tesla’s money would be better spent complying with franchise laws. “The law is the law. Follow it.”
Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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