Andrew McCarthy, a Windermere, Florida-based attorney, today announced he has filed a lawsuit against Jacksonville, Florida-based Nimnicht Chevrolet and its Sales Professional, Howard Roberts. The First Amended Complaint, setting forth causes of action including fraud and violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, or FDUTPA, was filed on April 3 in Duval County Circuit Court.
The lawsuit alleges Nimnicht Chevrolet and Roberts engaged in unlawful trade practices by advertising a vehicle at a lower price to McCarthy to induce him to make a deposit, but after collecting his deposit to order the car at MSRP, demanding $10,000 more at delivery, citing ‘changed circumstances’. The lawsuit seeking damages and legal fees accuses Nimnicht Chevrolet and Roberts of “fraudulently deceiving customers,” and “exploiting the unprecedented demand for the eighth-generation Corvette by instructing its sales professionals to make deliberate misrepresentations to clients.”
The lawsuit focuses on whether Roberts and Nimnicht Chevrolet, a General Motors dealership, through their sales, promotional and advertisement practices, violated FDUTPA. FDUTPA states its purpose is, “[t]o protect the consuming public…from those who engage in unfair methods of competition, or unconscionable, deceptive, or unfair acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.”
Steve Carlisle, North American President for General Motors, in a January 18, 2022 letter to its dealers, denounced certain sales practices, writing, “Providing customers misinformation about additional sums being necessary for a customer to keep a reservation, is just one example of a tactic that reflects poorly on all of us.”
“This lawsuit alleges that just nine days after Carlisle’s letter and months after I paid a deposit to purchase a Corvette at MSRP, Nimnicht Chevrolet, Mr. Roberts, and General Sales Manager Scott Garman threatened to breach our prior agreement unless I agreed to pay $10,000 over MSRP. This sort of conduct—if it can be established at trial—harms not just the reputation of Nimnicht Chevrolet, but that of General Motors,” said McCarthy.
The lawsuit contemplates that other consumers have been similarly impacted, alleging, “Nimnicht Chevrolet has engaged in a pattern and practice of misleading potential customers into placing a deposit on and ordering vehicles, while lying to them about the price at which those vehicles can be purchased when they arrive.”
“I would encourage others who have been the victim of deceptive practices by Nimnicht Chevrolet or Howard Roberts to come forward and join this action or bring similar actions against them,” said McCarthy, “Nimnicht Chevrolet and Howard Roberts must be held accountable for their actions.”
Nimnicht Chevrolet and Howard Roberts did not respond to requests for comment. The case is James Andrew McCarthy, Jr. v. Nimnicht Chevrolet Company and Howard Roberts, 16-2022-CC-014172.
For more information, contact Andrew McCarthy at McCarthy Legal: 407.453.0353 [email protected]