LEMON LAW: $380,240
Nature of Action: Civil Wisconsin Lemon Law/Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
Injuries claimed: Failure to Comply with Lemon Law
Court: Waukesha County Circuit Court
Case name: Van Natta Plumbing and Heating, Inc., et al. v. General Motors Corporation, et al.
Case number: 2007CV002365
Judge: Ralph M. Ramirez
Verdict & settlement: Verdict in favor of Plaintiffs
Original amount sought: Comparable replacement vehicle pursuant to the Wisconsin Lemon Law.
Original offer: Prior to suit Plaintiff offered to return lemon vehicle and transfer title back to General Motors in exchange for comparable vehicle.
Plaintiffs’ settlement offer: $9,700 to plaintiffs, $40,230 for payoff of vehicle loan, $6,900 in attorney fees.
Defendants’ presuit offer: $5,000 cash payment.
Defendants’ offer of judgment: $10,000 inclusive of costs and attorney fees.
Award: $120,877 to plaintiff including payoff of loan. $259,363 for attorney fees and costs
Disposition date: Dec. 26, 2008
Original filing date: Aug. 24, 2007
Plaintiffs attorney (firm): Jastroch & LaBarge S.C., Aiken & Scoptur, S.C.
Defendants attorney (firm): Bowman and Brooke LLP
Plaintiffs expert witnesses: John Jewell, James Dentici
Defendants expert witnesses: Rod Klemme, Jeff Strack
Plaintiff counsel’s summary of the facts: Plaintiff Todd Van Natta purchased a new 2007 GMC Sierra from Fred Mueller Automotive, Inc. Approximately five months after purchase he began experiencing a loss of power-steering with his vehicle at slow speeds and during parking lot maneuvers. He took the vehicle in for repair four times within the first year of ownership but the dealer was unable to repair the vehicle. Van Natta sent a Lemon Law notice to General Motors demanding a comparable vehicle pursuant to the Wisconsin Lemon Law. General Motors denied his demand claiming the loss of power-steering was a “normal condition” of the vehicle and the vehicle did not qualify as a lemon. Van Natta filed suit under the Wisconsin Lemon Law and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act against General Motors and the Fred Mueller Automotive, Inc.
Pre-trial motions: Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiffs’ Motions in Limine, Defendants’ Motions in Limine
Length of trial: Four days
Jury or bench: Jury