Mercedes-Benz has made a payment of $618,000 by order of the Wisconsin
Supreme Court for a lemon law case from 2005. In the case, a Wisconsin
businessman, Marco Marquez purchased an E-Class, which turned out to
be defective. By defective, Marquez's lawyer, lemon law-specialist
Vince Megna says the owner needed the E320 to be repaired repeatedly,
eventually seeking a refund.
The court awarded Marquez $482,000 in 2005, but Mercedes-Benz argued
over having to pay, claiming that Marquez and his attorney delayed the
motion to trigger something called "double damages."
According to reports, in Wisconsin, an automaker has 30 days to
respond to a lemon law claim and provide a refund if it is deemed
necessary. If it fails to meet that 30-day deadline, the car owner may
be entitled to damages worth twice the value of the vehicle. Mercedes
argued that Megna stalled in order to trigger that double penalty.
In a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the verdict, requiring
Mercedes-Benz to pay the full amount. Adjusted for inflation, that
number comes to $618,000. And there's still the matter of more than
$200,000 in legal fees accrued since 2005. Megna had named Concours
Motors in Glendale, WI as well as five other Mercedes-Benz dealers as
garnishees in his motion, but Mercedes-Benz stepped in to foot the
bill in the end.