Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Cahokia Motors denies liability in fraud suit; Customer seeks $500K in punitive damages


By The Madison County Record | Feb 14, 2020

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Cahokia Motors denies liability in a customer’s suit alleging it tricked him into default by failing to inform him of a finance fee in addition to his initial down payment.

John Rose filed the complaint on Nov. 12 against Cahokia Motors and Dennis Fults, alleging violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

According to his complaint, Rose claims he purchased a 2008 Pontiac Torrent from the defendants on Dec. 22, 2018 for $5,495. He also had to pay a $20 documentary fee, a $345 sales tax, and a $196 registration payment, for a total of $6,056.

Rose was allegedly required to have $2,000 in cash as a down payment. He claims he signed a sales agreement requiring him to pay the remaining $4,056 in payments of $200 per month over a 21 month period.

However, Rose claims the contract also included a finance charge and a payment of $553 as part of the down payment on Jan. 5, 2019.

“Defendant Cahokia Motors Inc. also required plaintiff to sign a document authorizing Cahokia Motors, Inc. to take the automobile without a court order if plaintiff should fail to make any payment or any part of any payment due on the loan,” the suit states.

According to the lawsuit, Rose “is a person of modest means and limited education, living paycheck to paycheck.”

Rose claims that it was his understanding that he was to pay the $2,000 down payment and then $200 per month beginning Feb. 5, 2019. By early June, he had paid more than $1,000 of those monthly payments. He claims he had no idea about the additional $533 fee, so he did not pay it.

“Cahokia Motors deliberately schedules a large, one-time payment shortly after the initial down payment (the second down payment) for the purpose of then repossessing the automobile and either retaining possession, and the initial down payment and initial monthly payments, or charging the customer a large fee for the repossession,” the suit states.

“Cahokia Motors, Inc. has a huge number of repossessions each year and, on numerous occasions, the automobiles are returned to the customers after they pay an exorbitant repossession fee,” it continues.

Rose accuses the defendants of using deception, fraud, false promises, and suppression of facts.

The defendants answered the complaint on Jan. 2 through attorney Dennis Watkins of Belleville. They deny liability and deny that the plaintiff is entitled to recover compensation from them “for any injuries or damages which the plaintiff may have sustained in consequence of any of the matters and things alleged in said complaint.”

Rose seeks the $3,155 he paid to Cahokia Motors. He also seeks more than $20,000 for the loss of the vehicle at $200 per week, as well as $500,000 in punitive damages and $25,000 in attorney fees.

He is represented by David M. Duree of David M. Duree & Associates of O’Fallon.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 19-L-794

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Organizations in this Story

St. Clair County Circuit CourtDavid M Duree & Associates