Morrisey Secures Refunds, Shutdown of Charter Bus Company
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office has achieved a temporary injunction to shut down a charter bus company and force its owners to refund more than $22,600 for two canceled field trips and a family vacation.
The agreed upon order requires that Cav’s Coach Company LLC and owner Christopher Todd Cavender cease operations for the duration of the state’s litigation. It also freezes the company’s assets, permits access to corporate and personal bank records and requires the company turn over all trip records dating back to January 2013.
“This month’s order demonstrates the resolve and vigor of our office,” Morrisey said in a press release. “Within a matter of weeks, our staff initiated an extensive investigation and brought forth a lawsuit yielding more than $22,000 in refunds for those affected.
"Such swift action should send a message that companies must comply with the law and deliver upon the promises made.”
The $22,682 in restitution must be paid by Aug. 14 with threat of contempt for any nonpayment.
That amount does not include civil penalties, which will be argued as part of the ongoing case, or additional refunds owed to other consumers found to have lost money as part of the continuing investigation.
The lawsuit, filed June 26, alleges Cav’s Coach defaulted on its agreement to fully refund the canceled field trips, both scheduled to celebrate eighth-grade graduations.
The field trips, involving students at Kermit Area School and Crum Middle School, were canceled for different reasons, but in both instances the lawsuit alleges Cav’s Coach refunded less than one-fifth of the agreed upon refund amount.
This month’s order will refund $10,382 to Kermit Area School and $7,500 to Crum Middle School. The remaining $4,800 will refund two private citizens for a canceled family vacation, a cancellation revealed after the Attorney General filed last month’s lawsuit.
The canceled field trips were among at least six examples of Cav’s Coach having allegedly failed to fulfill its contractual obligations since it began doing business in 2005, according to the lawsuit.
Consumers have been allegedly stranded along the highway after bus breakdowns or had their trips canceled on the eve of departure, the lawsuit states. In some instances, the first notice of cancellation was when buses did not show up on the scheduled departure date.
In addition to Cav’s Coach and its owner, the lawsuit lists affiliate AllAboard Tours and Charters LLC as a defendant. All are based in Cross Lanes in Kanawha County.
The Attorney General seeks a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for every violation of the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act and a permanent court order prohibiting the defendants from engaging in the business of arranging or selling charter bus services, booking travel or any related travel service.
Mingo Circuit Court case number 17-C-113