WTO wins complete defense verdict and punitive damages in $7 million franchise dispute case
Auto Stiegler v. Mercedes-Benz USA
(C.D. Cal. 2006)
A dealer filed suit in state court seeking injunctive relief to prevent our client, Mercedes-Benz, from collecting a warranty service audit chargeback pending the outcome of a related protest before California's New Motor Vehicle Board. Our client removed the case to federal court and filed counterclaims including breach of contract and fraud arising out of the dealer's claims for reimbursement of warranty repairs.
Our client's claims were not limited to the audit period, but rather took advantage of the statute of limitations for each legal theory of the counterclaims, going back in time beyond the short statutory audit period. After our client refused settlement offers from the dealer, the jury awarded Mercedes-Benz over $7 million in damages, including substantial punitive damages.