Trial And Appellate Wins Of The Law Offices Of René Korper

Sometimes a party is dissatisfied with the jury's verdict against it, and files an appeal. Whether it is the manufacturer unhappy that the jury did not accept its arguments, or the consumer whose rights were not upheld in the trial court, the Law Offices of René Korper is usually willing to continue representing its clients on appeal:

Significant Appellate Successes Of The Law Offices Of René Korper

Jiagbogu v. Mercedes-Benz: Mr. Jiagbogu purchased a 12-cylinder Mercedes sedan, which developed various engine and transmission defects over time. Mercedes argued that as the vehicle had almost 100,000 miles on its odometer, Mr. Jiagbogu obtained full use of the vehicle. The trial judge rejected this argument, and the jury decided in favor of Mr. Jiagbogu. On appeal, the appellate court Mercedes' arguments and issued a published decision to protect future consumers.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded, Mercedes lost on appeal.

Contreras v. Ford: Ms. Contreras purchased a brand new Saleen Mustang that began to backfire and experience reduced performance. The dealership advised her to add a supercharger to address these concerns. However, after installing the supercharger, Ford claimed that the aftermarket supercharger caused the problems with the vehicle and thus voided Ford's warranty. Though the jury at the trial court returned a verdict against Ms. Contreras, she won this on appeal.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded after Defendants lost on appeal.

Interlandi v. Mercedes-Benz: Mr. Interlandi purchased a Mercedes-Benz SL 500, which consistently pulled to the right. Mercedes claimed that the defect was minor and did not warrant a repurchase of the vehicle. While the jury found that Mercedes violated the Song-Beverly Act, it awarded no damages. On appeal, the appellate court ordered a new trial only on the issue of the amount of his damages. Mercedes repurchased the car after the appellate court decision.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded after Mercedes lost on appeal.

Eslamieh v. Coachman Industries: Mr. Eslamieh purchased a defective Coachmen motor home, and the jury not only told Coachmen to refund his money but also imposed a $175,000.00 civil penalty. The appellate court upheld the trial court's decision.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded, $175,000.00 civil penalty imposed,
Coachmen lost on appeal.

Mexia v. Rinker Boats: Mr. Mexia purchased a Rinker boat. While the vessel functioned properly for three years, the boat then began ingesting ocean water into the engine. This problem continued to occur even after several repair attempts. Rinker claimed that it was not liable for Mr. Mexia's damages because the implied warranty of merchantability had a duration of only one year and the defect did not manifest until over one year after purchase of the boat. Though the trial court dismissed the claim against Rinker, Mr. Mexia appealed. The appellate court found that although the defect did not manifest until years later, the defect was present at the time of purchase.

JURY AWARD: The Court of Appeal agreed with Mr. Mexia and reinstated the case, thereby creating an important precedent in favor of consumers. The defendants repurchased the boat after the court's ruling.

Crocker v. Jaguar: This case went to trial based on an engine problem and the jury returned a verdict in favor of Mrs. Crocker in the amount that she had paid for the car and, in addition, awarded her a civil penalty. Jaguar appealed the case because evidence at trial revealed that the dealership had sold her the top of the line Jaguar but delivered a less expensive model.

JURY AWARD: The Court of Appeal held that there was sufficient evidence of the discrepancy between the vehicle bought and the one delivered, that the evidence was properly admitted, and that the verdict would stand.

Significant Trial Successes Of The Law Office Of René Korper

When reviewing these cases, please keep in mind that the vast majority of the cases that the firm handles - over 90 percent- settle without the need for a trial. When the warrantor of a defective product chooses to go to trial against us, however, here are some of the results:

  • Cars
  • Trucks & Vans
  • Recreational Vehicles
  • Boats & Watercraft

CARS

Cole v. Mercedes-Benz:
Mr. Cole purchased a new Mercedes E-Class, which began to experience very intermittent loss of braking ability for two to three seconds. Because of the intermittency of the brake defect, no mechanics ever verified it. Mercedes claimed that, because the problem was never verified, it did not exist.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded.

Chen v. Mercedes-Benz: This case involved an intermittent transmission defect in an E-Class Mercedes. Mercedes claimed that it was unable to verify the problem. Ms. Chen's expert witness, however, was able to verify it.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded.

Hayes v. General Motors: Mr. Hayes purchased a brand new Chevrolet Camaro Z28. Shortly after purchase he noticed that there were large areas of rust and corrosion underneath the vehicle. General Motors claimed that rust on the undercarriage of a new vehicle was normal. General Motors also claimed that, because the rust could not be seen unless the vehicle was hoisted off of the ground, the defect was minor and did not warrant a repurchase.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded, maximum civil penalty imposed.

Carranza v. Honda: The Carranzas purchased a new Honda vehicle, which manifested engine-control problems shortly after purchase. The Carranzas had added various aftermarket electrical devices to their vehicle after purchase, but also after the electrical problems had already arisen. Honda claimed that the engine problems were due to the installation of the aftermarket devices and that, consequently, Honda was not responsible for the Carranzas' problems.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded.

Rosenthal v. Mercedes-Benz: Dr. Rosenthal purchased a Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG convertible for over $160,000.00. Right after purchase, Dr. Rosenthal noticed a chirping "like the sound of crickets" emanating from behind the driver's seat of the vehicle. Mercedes was aware that all SL 55s had this problem and that the noise was coming from a special pump in the fuel tank, and was working on a fix. For several months of Mercedes told Dr. Rosenthal that the fix was not available. At trial, Mercedes claimed that the noise was minor and did not warrant a repurchase of the vehicle. The original jury was unable to reach a verdict. While awaiting retrial, Mercedes made an offer to settle for less than a full repurchase. Dr. Rosenthal elected to retry the case.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded, civil penalty imposed.

Lo Sauro v. Reseda Dodge: Mr. Lo Sauro purchased a used Chrysler Camaro from Reseda Dodge. Because of problems with the vehicle, he decided to trade it in after owning it less than a year. When he tried doing this, however, he discovered that the vehicle had substantial frame damage, which someone had tried unsuccessfully to repair. Reseda Dodge argued that it did know about the frame damage; that the damage was purely cosmetic; and that Mr. Lo Sauro might have been in an accident and caused the damage himself. The jury disagreed, finding Reseda Dodge liable under both the Song-Beverly Act and the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA).

JURY AWARD: Purchase price of $22,299.60 refunded, less $3,000.00 because Mr. Lo Sauro was allowed to keep vehicle.

TRUCKS AND VANS
Lombardi v. Chrysler:
Mr. Lombardi had a Dodge van with habitual driver's-side-window problems. The windows would stick or come off of the track. Repeated attempts by Chrysler to repair this situation were ineffective. At the time of trial, the vehicle had over 100,000 miles on the odometer.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded, civil penalty imposed.

Tucker v. General Motors: Mr. Tucker purchased a Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck. It was his first new vehicle. Unfortunately, the vehicle developed transmission complaints after sale, and General Motors did not repair them after several opportunities. General Motors claimed that the defects were a result of abuse by Mr. Tucker. The jury disagreed.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded.


Shirley v. Mercedes-Benz: Mr. Shirley purchased a Mercedes G500 sport utility vehicle, which developed a series of pervasive electrical problems. Mercedes claimed that each problem was different, and that each time an electrical problem developed the dealership had been able to repair that problem. Consequently, Mercedes argued that Mr. Shirley was not entitled to a repurchase, because no individual electrical problem was subject to repair more than twice.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded.

Seymour v. Ford: Ms. Seymour was sold a Ford Explorer that was labeled a four-wheel drive vehicle. The vehicle came complete with a four-wheel drive emblem. It turned out that the vehicle was actually a standard drive vehicle.

JURY AWARD: Award of the difference between the value of the vehicle as represented versus as purchased.

RECREATIONAL VEHICLES
Mastro v. Gulf Stream Coach, Inc:
The Mastros purchased a new Gulf Stream motor home. At the time of purchase they told the dealer and Gulf Stream that they wanted a four seasons coach because they used the vehicle for ski and snowboarding, which their children were competitive in. Specifically, the Mastros wanted holding tanks that were blanket and furnace heated. They were told that the motor home came with these heated tanks when in fact it did not.

JURY AWARD: After the close of evidence, but before the jury returned a verdict Gulf Stream agreed to repurchase the coach.

Jackson v. Weekend Warrior: The Jacksons purchased a new 5th Wheel Toy Hauler. With time, the glue that held the walls to the frame of the trailer began to delaminate. Weekend Warrior claimed that the delamination of the walls was not a substantial defect because the walls were still supported by staples and by the exterior aluminum siding. The Jackson's expert testified that neither the staples nor the exterior siding provided the necessary shear strength that the walls needed without the glue adhesive.

JURY AWARD: The jury awarded the Jacksons the purchase price of the 5th wheel.

Marciel v. Beaver: Mr. and Mrs. Marciel purchased a Beaver motor home for more than $300,000.00. It manifested numerous problems, including an electrical defect that would drain the chassis batteries. They brought it in at least 15 times for lengthy repairs, and the motor home was in the shop for over 400 days in less than two years. Despite this, the defendants argued that they were entitled to more repair attempts. They also argued that their warranty had expired while the motor home was in for repairs, and that Mr. and Mrs. Marciel had caused their own problems by failing to maintain the motor home properly.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded.

Eslamieh v. Coachmen: Mr. Eslamieh purchased a Coachmen motor home that developed two problems. First, there was a whistling noise from the front end of the vehicle; second, there were continuous problems with the main slide-out. At one point the slide-out actually came out by itself while the coach was making a turn in traffic. Coachmen's defense was its claim that it could still repair all of the defects in the motor home.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded, $175,000.00 civil penalty imposed.

Birozy v. Fleetwood: Mr. and Mrs. Birozy purchased a Fleetwood fifth-wheel travel trailer. Whenever they went camping at a trailer park and plugged into the park's electrical box, if the water heater, air conditioner, and refrigerator were all on at the same time, the main circuit breaker would trip. Fleetwood claimed that this condition was normal, and that all three components could not be used on electrical power at the same time. Fleetwood therefore maintained that there was no defect at all.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded.

BOATS & WATERCRAFT
Hovsepian v. Eliminator Boats:
Mr. Hovsepian purchased a new custom Stoker boat built by Eliminator and John's Custom Marine. Shortly after purchase, Mr. Hovsepian noticed that the vessel was leaking water and that it would "hobby­horse" when pulling a skier. Mr. Hovsepian claimed that the design of the boat was defective. Defendants claimed that they manufactured the boat in accordance with Mr. Hovsepian's specifications, and that, consequently, they were not at fault. The jury disagreed.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price refunded, civil penalty imposed.

Saylan v. Mercury Marine: Mr. and Mrs. Saylan purchased a vessel with two outboard Mercury Optimax engines. The vehicle was purchased for marine research purposes. The engines developed serious injector problems that caused the vessel, over time, to become totally unusable. Mercury claimed that it had fixed all of the defects.

JURY AWARD: Purchase price of the engines refunded.

A Final Thought

Warrantors often try to negotiate fast but inadequate settlements of lemon law claims, and threaten to go to trial if their offers are not accepted. When The Law Office of René Korper represents the consumers, however, warrantors know that such tactics do not work. We will not buckle under if a warrantor wrongfully refuses to pay the amount to which the consumer is legally entitled, but will take the case to trial if necessary. Warrantors also know our record of trial successes. This discourages warrantors from trying to bluff us, and actually increases the number of cases that are ultimately settled without trial.

As each case is different, find out your legal options by speaking to our Valencia attorneys. Contact us for a free consultation at 661-362-0728.

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