Woman sues Wheeling Nissan dealership, five employees for breach, fraud

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 17, 2010

WHEELING -- A Wheeling woman is suing Wheeling Nissan dealership and five of its employees after she claims they breached their duty of good faith and committed fraud.

On Dec. 13, 2008, Shawnda Burgess entered the Nissan dealership and approached Paul O'Donovan to purchase a vehicle within a $20,000 price range, according to a complaint filed Dec. 23 in Ohio Circuit Court.

Burgess claims O'Donovan indicated he had the perfect car for her and showed her a used 2008 Nissan Altima.

After taking the vehicle for a test drive, Burgess claims she sat in the dealership for five hours while employees worked on financing. She claims she was presented paperwork by Nissan employees O'Donovan, Kay Wheaton, Ronald K. Harris II and an unknown employee.

Prior to signing, Burgess repeatedly asked the defendants if the final sales price was $20,000 and was told it was, according to the suit.

Burgess wrote the dealership a $12,000 personal check as a down payment and left the dealership with the vehicle, but without any of the sales or financing paperwork, according to the suit.

On Dec. 21, 2008, a dealership employee called Burges and told her she needed to return to the dealership to sign new paperwork and that there was a problem with the previously signed documents.

On Dec. 24, 2008, Burgess received paperwork in the mail. She claims she first realized the total purchase price of the Altima was not $20,000, but $32,000, and that the dealership simply kept her down-payment of $12,000.

Burgess contacted the dealership and spoke with Harris, indicating there had to have been a mistake. She claims Harris indicated there was nothing he could do and that it was too late.

The vehicle was eventually re-possessed, as Burgess claims she could not afford the unexpectedly high payments and finance charges imposed.

Burgess is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Gerald E. Lofstead III and Drank X. Duff.

Ohio Circuit Court case number: 09-C-0442

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