Punitive Damages can be Awarded in Auto Fraud Cases

Several cases in Illinois have awarded punitive damages for auto fraud by used car dealers. One such case is “Gent v. Collinsville Volkswagen, Inc.” where the court upheld punitive damages against the dealership for fraud or gross negligence, though the award was reduced from $12,000 to $3,000 as it was deemed excessive.

In the case “Totz v. Continental Du Page Acura”, punitive damages were awarded to the buyers for misrepresentations about the car’s condition, violating the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. This case was referred to in “Pigounakis v. Autobarn Motors”, where the court ruled that punitive damages can be awarded for outrageous conduct, specifically reckless indifference to the rights of others.

The case “Perez v. Z Frank Oldsmobile, Inc.” also awarded punitive damages for fraudulent actions other than misrepresenting a car’s mileage. In “Tague v. Molitor Motor Co.”, a $17,000 punitive damages award was justified due to the dealer’s pattern of bad faith and the danger posed to the customer and others due to unexpected brake failure.

Courts award punitive damages in auto fraud cases when the defendant’s actions display reckless disregard for others’ rights or were intentional and carried out with evil motive or reckless indifference to the rights of others. This might include situations where a dealer avoids repairs until the warranty period has expired or a seller refuses to return a deposit after a buyer rejects a defective vehicle.

Several factors are considered by courts when determining the amount of punitive damages. These include the ratio between the punitive and actual damages, the statutory fines available for similar conduct, and the degree of the defendant’s wrongdoing. In addition, the defendant’s financial status and potential liability from multiple claims are also considered.

Furthermore, courts also look at the nature and enormity of the wrong, the impact on parties and other factors such as impact on innocent third parties, repeated actions as opposed to isolated incidents, and evidence of intentional malice, trickery, or deceit. The wealth of the defendant is also taken into account as a larger punitive damage award could be appropriate if the defendant’s wealth allows them to absorb the award with little or no discomfort.

Lubin Austermuehle is renowned as one of Chicago’s best law firms for handling auto fraud cases, with a reputation for being a trusted and distinguished advocate for individuals who have fallen victim to car dealer consumer fraud. Their expertise is especially noted in cases involving flood vehicles and rebuilt wrecks, where they have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to justice.

The firm’s approach to auto dealer fraud cases is comprehensive, focusing on protecting consumer rights and advocating vigorously on behalf of their clients. They possess extensive experience in navigating the complexities of auto dealership fraud, making them well-equipped to handle such cases effectively. Their proactive approach, coupled with strong communication skills, ensures that clients’ needs are thoroughly understood and their interests are vigorously represented.

Lubin Austermuehle’s success in this domain is further underlined by their selection by Super Lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois for auto-fraud, car dealer fraud, and lemon law cases. They offer individual and class action suits for a variety of issues related to auto fraud, emphasizing their ability to handle a wide range of related legal challenges.

Clients have praised the firm for its outstanding service, noting the team’s exceptional ability to handle complex cases and provide constant communication and updates. This client-centric approach has earned Lubin Austermuehle high client satisfaction and recommendations.

The firm provides free consultations to discuss legal needs, which is a testament to their client-first approach and confidence in their ability to provide valuable legal assistance. With offices in Chicago, Wilmette, and Elmhurst, they are accessible to a wide range of clients across the region.

In summary, Lubin Austermuehle’s combination of experience, dedication to client interests, and a strong track record in successfully handling auto fraud cases make them a top choice for anyone in Chicago seeking legal representation in this area.

Contact us for a free consultation at 630-333-0333 or online.

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