Madison - St. Clair Record

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Auto buyer’s lawsuit alleging he was over charged has settled

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Jul 14, 2015

An auto buyer claiming he was charged more than the agreed amount on a vehicle after it was wrongfully repossessed several times has reached a settlement with the dealership and salesman.

The parties filed a stipulation for dismissal with prejudice on May 4, agreeing “that the matters in dispute have been resolved and that the complaint may be, and hereby is, dismissed with prejudice, with each party to bear their own court costs, which have been paid.”

Then Associate Judge Randall Kelley filed an order dismissing the complaint with prejudice on May 5.

John Rose Jr. filed his March 11 lawsuit against A & E Auto Sales Inc. and Rodney Fults, claiming he purchased a 1998 Land Rover from the defendants on Oct. 4, 2013. Rose claims he made a $1,900 down payment when he purchased the vehicle.

However, Rose claims he signed a misleading document that led him to believe his first monthly installment of $175 was due a month later than its actual due date.

As a result, the defendants allegedly repossessed the vehicle approximately five times between November 2013 and February 2015, charging Rose additional fees for each occasion, the suit states.

Rose claims he provided documentation of his payments and believes he actually paid more in total than the required amount. He also alleges the dealership has been called into question in the past for similar allegations, the complaint states.

Fults filed a motion to dismiss on April 6 through attorney Van-Lear P. Eckert of Belleville, claiming the complaint fails to plead sufficient facts to “pierce the corporate veil and impose personal liability” on the defendant.

More specifically, Fults argues that the plaintiff fails to state a claim for owner liability if he “merely alleges that the individual had general corporate authority or served in a supervisory capacity.”

Additionally, the defendants argues that in order to make a claim for personal liability, Rose is required to show that the defendant was personally involved in the alleged misconduct, rather than acting in his corporate capacity.

“A party seeking to have the corporate entity disregarded has to come forward with a substantial showing that the corporation is really a dummy or a sham for a dominating personality,” the motion states.

Then on April 23, Rose filed a motion for default judgment against A & E Auto Sales through attorney David M. Durree of O’Fallon, arguing the defendant has failed to enter an appearance in the case.

Kelley granted default judgment against A & E Auto Sales in an April 30 order.

However, Rose later filed a motion to vacate default judgment on May 7, explaining that a settlement agreement was reached with all parties.

Kelley filed an order vacating the April 30 default judgment on May 26.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-138

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