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Meyer Honda denies liability in suit over air conditioning repairs

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Apr 5, 2016


Meyer Honda in O’Fallon denies liability in a customer’s lawsuit alleging the dealership misrepresented repairs on her vehicle.

Dian Ducey filed her lawsuit on Sept. 1 against Meyer Bros. Auto Company, doing business as Meyer Honda in O’Fallon.

According to the complaint, Ducey claims she purchased a new Honda CRV from the defendant in June 2007. She claims she brought her vehicle to the dealership when the air conditioner began having problems. However, she says the problem was not fixed.

She brought her vehicle in again in May 2012 with the same complaints.

She then brought the vehicle in a third time, but says the problem still wasn’t fixed.

She claims the defendant misrepresented what repairs were necessary to correct the air conditioner, charged her for the “unnecessary” repairs and said the repairs corrected the problem.

Further, she alleges the defendant removed the clutch hub from the vehicle without Ducey’s permission in an alleged attempt to hide that the clutch was defective and improperly installed.

Meyer Honda answered the amended complaint on March 15 through attorneys John Cunningham and Denise Baker-Seal of Brown & James in Belleville.

It denies the allegations and argues that the complaint is barred by the doctrine of laches “because her unreasonable delay in asserting her claims prejudiced defendant, preventing defendant from obtaining relevant evidence including witness statements regarding the alleged verbal contracts, now lost to the passage of time and memory, and making it impossible for defendant to perform an adequate investigation of plaintiff’s claims.”

It also argues that the verbal contracts are void “as there was no meeting of the minds on the alleged material terms of the verbal contracts.”

Further, Meyer Honda alleges the plaintiff knew she may have a legal claim immediately following the July 2, 2011, July 26, 2011, and May 12, 2012, repairs. Therefore, the statute of limitations bars her complaint, the answer states.

She also allegedly continued to pay for repairs when she knew of her potential claims against the defendant.

Meyer Honda filed a motion for a protective order on March 14 asking the court to either enter a protective order or “significantly” limit the plaintiff’s second document request.

The defendant states that Ducey’s first document request from Nov. 12 consisted of 40 separate requests and it is in the process of “making good-faith efforts to resolve their discovery disputes arising out of that First Document Request.”

Then on Feb. 22, the plaintiff filed a second document request, consisting of an additional 94 separate requests.

“Plaintiff’s service upon defendant of 94 additional requests, bringing her total requests to 134, is excessive and disproportional for a case involving total repair costs of less than $1,000.

“The excessiveness and disproportionality of plaintiff’s second document request is evidence of plaintiff’s intent to use the discovery process as an annoyance rather than a reasonable means of obtaining information pertinent to her case,” the motion states.

The defendant also filed a motion to strike or dismiss the complaint. A motion hearing is scheduled for April 11 at 8:30 a.m.

The defendant argues that Count I, which alleges conversion of an alleged defective air conditioner part, does not contain a specific prayer for relief.

Meyer Bros. claims that Count II, which makes allegations under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, is barred by the three-year statute of limitations.

“Although plaintiff was aware that her alleged air conditioning problem was not fixed in May of 2012, she waited nearly three years before returning her vehicle to defendant for further diagnosis and repair,” the motion states.

The plaintiff seeks compensatory and exemplary damages of more than $50,000, plus court costs and other relief the court deems just.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-512

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