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Dodge Ram 2500 SLT truck

Settlement:   $44,831
Case Type:   Lemon Law, Motor Vehicle
Case:   Robert Steinmuller v. Bright Bay Mazda
Date:   4/16/2015
Plaintiff Attorney(s):   Anthony T. Ballato, Esq., Massapequa, NY
Defendant Attorney(s):   John P. Finnerty, Bay Shore, NY
Facts:   On Jan. 29, 2015, claimant Robert Steinmuller purchased a used 2012 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT truck. The purchase included a warranty. Steinmuller claimed that the vehicle quickly developed corrosion that stemmed from leaks and resultant flooding of the vehicle. He attempted to return the vehicle, but it was refused by the dealership, Bay Shore-based Bright Bay Mazda. Steinmuller sought recovery via application of the Used Car Lemon Law, General Business Law article 11-A, § 198-b. Steinmuller claimed that more than three separate repairs were attempted during the 90 days that followed his purchase of the vehicle. He further claimed that the vehicle's resultant unavailability spanned 15 days. Steinmuller's counsel contended that the vehicle's recurrent problems allowed recovery via application of the Used Car Lemon Law, which specifies that a vehicle's first 90 days and/or 4,000 miles should not include more than three attempted repairs and/or 15 days of unavailability. The dealership claimed that it adequately addressed the problems that Steinmuller's vehicle experienced. It also contended that the vehicle's problems did not significantly impair its value.
Injury:   Steinmuller claimed that his vehicle experienced chronic leaks and floods that caused corrosion that materially impaired the vehicle's value. He sought recovery of $44,831.20, which represented the price that was paid for the vehicle. He also sought recovery of attorney's fees.
Verdict:   The parties negotiated a settlement. Bright Bay Mazda agreed to pay $44,831.20, which represented the price that was paid for the vehicle. The dealership did not acknowledge fault, and it did not reimburse Steinmuller's attorney's fees. This report is based on information that was provided by claimant's and respondent's counsel.

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