Car dealer sues to block opening of another Honda dealer

By Cara Bailey | May 17, 2007

HUNTINGTON - A Cabell County auto dealership has filed a suit against one of its distributors, seeking a declaration for the court to stop the distributor from opening another dealer within 20 miles of the current dealership.

Moses Honda, in Barboursville, filed a suit May 3 in Cabell Circuit Court, against American Honda Motor Company, Inc.

According to the lawsuit, the dealer/manager of Moses Honda, Barbara Moses Adkins, sent a letter to American Honda, notifying of her intent to relocate the dealership close to the Huntington Mall.

"West Virginia Code ... allows a new motor vehicle dealer to move within four miles of its established place of business without notice or agreement from the involved manufacturer or same-line dealers," the suit says.

The suit states that in the letter, Adkins also informed American Honda that the West Virginia Legislature amended West Virginia Code, stating that same line-make motor vehicle dealerships must have a 20-mile radius between them.

On April 18, 2007, Bill Green, the manager and marketing planner of American Honda, sent a letter to Moses Honda indicating they were going to place a new Honda dealer in Hurricane, which is 15.9 miles from the proposed Moses Honda site.

Moses Honda seeks a court order to make American Honda provide notice that they signed a letter of intent with the new Hurricane dealer on March 2, 2007.

Also, Moses seeks a declaration that its relocation takes precedent over American Honda.

Charleston attorney David Allen Barnette is representing Moses Honda.

The case has been assigned to Judge John L. Cummings.

Cabell Circuit Court case number 07-C-384

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