A jury awarded a former Nissan dealer nearly $300 million in a lawsuit against Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.
Superior Automotive Group, a group of Nissan and Toyota dealerships in Southern California owned by auto dealer Michael Kahn, had claimed NMAC put it out of business during the recession.
The plaintiffs prevailed on claims for fraud by concealment and negligent misrepresentation.
The case was originally filed in 2009. In 2011 NMAC obtained a $40 million judgment on its contract claim.
The fraud claims were reversed on appeal in 2014 and remanded for retrial.
The jury awarded Superior $122 million in compensatory damages and $135 million in punitive damages.
The National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC) Board of Directors elected officers at its 13th annual member conference held recently in Dana Point, Calif.
Andrew Weill of Weill & Mazer, APC was elected president.
“I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of consistently excellent leadership from our founding President Jonathan Harvey and our outgoing president, Steve Linzer,” Weill said. “I look forward to NADC continuing to provide resources to its members in multiple ways, including conferences, newsletters, webinars, and good old-fashioned networking. The next years look to provide unique challenges and opportunities for car dealers, and NADC will be ready to assist our members and their clients in this changing environment.”
Johnnie Brown of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe, PLLC, was elected vice president. Jami Farris of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein was elected treasurer and Scott Silverman of Silverman Advisors was elected secretary.
The officers will serve two-year terms.
The NADC membership also elected three new directors: Deborah Dorman, ENYCAR; Donald W. Gould, II, Johnson DeLuca Kurisky & Gould, P.C.; and Shari Patish, Hall Automotive, LLC.
Ronald Smith of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP was reelected.
The directors will serve a three-year term.
A federal district court judge in San Francisco signed a settlement negotiated by the Federal Trade Commission and private plaintiffs providing for consumer redress and starting the formal claims process for owners of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche 3.0 liter TDI diesel cars.
The FTC will monitor VW’s compliance with the settlement’s provisions, which include special protections for those serving in the armed forces and those consumers in rural areas who may be far from the nearest dealer.
As the Federal Trade Commission first announced in February, consumers who bought 3.0 liter vehicles will receive up to $1.2 billion in compensation for Volkswagen’s misleading “clean diesel” claims, added to the more than $10 billion redress fund already created for 2.0 liter consumers. In all, consumers who bought affected “clean diesel” vehicles will receive up to $11.5 billion, and the court may hold Volkswagen in contempt if it makes deceptive environmental claims in the future.
Consumers can determine if they are eligible for compensation, and if so for how much, at VWCourtSettlement.com and AudiCourtSettlement.com. They can also use these websites to submit claims, make appointments, and receive updates.
These orders, along with those obtained by the Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, conclude the litigation to the tremendous benefit of the American public. The FTC’s and private plaintiffs’ orders provide money to compensate vehicle owners whom VW allegedly defrauded, and protect the public from future violations, while the DOJ and EPA orders provide over $6 billion for environmental relief.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law a bill, known as House Bill 1120, that will help preserve the rights of auto dealerships throughout the state when dealing with auto manufacturers.
The new law provides that key performance metrics for new motor vehicle dealers must consider local demographic and geographic limitations, among other fairness requirements. This new law redefines the often-contested issue of primary market area analysis and changes the standards for measuring and comparing dealer performance.