Putnam woman sues Smith Company Motor Cars for misrepresenting vehicle condition

By Kyla Asbury | Sep 28, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A Putnam County woman is suing Smith Company Motor Cars after she claims the company fraudulently misrepresented a vehicle she purchased in 2008.

Jeremy Nelson, a supervisory employee of Smith Company Motor Cars, was also named in the suit.

On July 11, 2008, Beverly Layne entered into a contract with the defendants for the purchase of a 2008 Volvo, according to a complaint filed Sept. 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Layne claims she specifically asked the dealer about the quality and value of the vehicle and inquired about the vehicle's prior use, damage and other problems. She claims the defendants specifically assured her that the vehicle was a "good, dependable car," and represented that the vehicle had no history of prior problems or damage.

The vehicle had been previously damaged and the dealer had actual knowledge of the damage, according to the suit.

Layne claims the defendant promised repairs to the paint and other cosmetic issues in order to induce her to purchase the vehicle and unreasonably delayed any attempt to perform the work promised at the the time of sale.

The defendant agreed to perform some limited touch-up work, but Layne found the work to be unsatisfactory, according to the suit, and in fact, "it appeared to the plaintiff that defendant dealer had done nothing at all to attempt to repair the vehicle as promised when plaintiff retrieved the vehicle ..."

On May 14, 2009, Layne claims while she was conversing with her salesman about the dealer's broken promises and refusal to repair the vehicle, Nelson verbally attacked and physically intimidated her.

Nelson "ran out of his office to where plaintiff was standing outside, screamed and cussed at plaintiff, placed his body and hands within inches of plaintiff's body and face, and appeared to be irate and out of control," according to the suit, and Nelson's actions toward Layne were intended to cause her immediate fear of bodily harm and severe humiliation.

Layne claims the defendants failed or refused to comply with her justified request to cancel the sale.

Layne is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and that the contract involved be declared canceled. She is being represented by David L. Grubb and Cameron S. McKinney.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-1628

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