ILNews

Dealership gets court to dismiss claims made by Volvo

Jennifer Nelson
October 12, 2012
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A federal judge in Indianapolis has ruled in favor of Andy Mohr Truck Center in two lawsuits stemming from a broken business relationship between the dealer and Volvo Trucks North America.

Volvo Trucks awarded auto dealer Andy Mohr’s Truck Center a contract to sell its trucks in 2010. When the business relationship soured, both parties filed lawsuits in the Southern District of Indiana, claiming among other things, breach of contract.

Mohr claims that his award of the Volvo franchise was dependent on the dealer being able to house it and the Mack Truck franchise under one dealership. He said Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks agreed to it, but that the transactions would have to occur separately. Once he was awarded the Volvo Truck franchise, the Volvo Group then failed to award Mohr the Mack Truck franchise.

Volvo’s suit claims that Mohr and the dealership haven’t fulfilled the “promises, representations and unqualified guarantees” they made, including moving into a new facility and sales goals.

Mohr and Volvo – as defendants in the other’s suit – filed motions to dismiss certain claims. Judge William Lawrence denied Volvo’s motion to dismiss Mohr’s claims of theft under the Indiana Crime Victims’ Act, breach of written contract and breach of oral contract. The judge granted Mohr’s motion to dismiss claims of fraudulent inducement, promissory estoppel and equitable estoppel in Volvo’s action.

Lawrence also ordered Tuesday the Mohr plaintiffs to show cause within 14 days as to why these to cases shouldn’t be consolidated since they may share common questions of law and fact.

The cases are Volvo Trucks North America, a division of Volvo Group North America LLC v. Andy Mohr Truck Center and Andrew F. Mohr, 1:12-CV-448; and Andy Mohr Truck Center Inc. v. Volvo Trucks North America, a division of Volvo Group North America LLC, 1:12-CV-701.

 

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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  3. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

  4. For some strange reason this story, like many on this ezine that question the powerful, seems to have been released in two formats. Prior format here: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263 That observed, I must note that it is quite refreshing that denizens of the great unwashed (like me) can be allowed to openly question powerful elitists at ICE MILLER who are on the public dole like Selby. Kudos to those at this ezine who understand that they cannot be mere lapdogs to the powerful and corrupt, lest freedom bleed out. If you wonder why the Senator resisted Selby, consider reading the comments here for a theory: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263

  5. Why is it a crisis that people want to protect their rights themselves? The courts have a huge bias against people appearing on their own behalf and these judges and lawyers will face their maker one day and answer for their actions.

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