WHEELING -- An Ohio County man is suing a used auto lot over claims that he was sold an unsafe, unroadworthy pickup truck.

Jeff McLaughlin filed a lawsuit June 11 in Ohio Circuit Court against Steel River Pre-Owned Auto Sales, its parent company SR Group LLC, and its employee Craig Strope, citing fraud, misrepresentation and negligence, among others charges.

McLaughlin claims that on Nov. 22, 2014, Strope sold him a 2003 Ford F-150, and repeatedly informed him that the vehicle was in a "safe, properly-working, merchantable and roadworthy condition."

However, McLaughlin soon realized that the vehicle's frame was riddled with rust and holes, making it unsafe and unlikely to pass a state motor vehicle inspection. According to the suit, Strope either knew, or should have known, the condition of the vehicle prior to its sale.

McLaughlin is seeking punitive and compensatory damages for the alleged fraud, along with money for legal fees, cancellation of the loan used to purchase the vehicle and a refund from the defendants. He is represented in the suit by Justin Wiater and Robert Fitzsimmons of Fitzsimmons Law Firm PLLC in Wheeling. The suit has been assigned to Judge David Sims.

Ohio Circuit Court civil action number 15-c-181.

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