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CalRVDA Members are Briefed on ‘Lemon Laws’

There are many legal strategies for dealing with Lemon Law disputes, but the best way to preempt such claims is to simply to keep your customers happy.

“Happy customers don’t sue. Do what you can to keep the customer happy. Treat them well,” Amanda Heitz, an associate attorney with Minneapolis, Minn.-based Bowman and Brooke LLP, one of the nation’s top law firms specializing in product liability disputes, told dealers at last week’s (Feb. 22) California Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s (CalRVDA) annual meeting.

Heitz and Richard L. Stuhlbarg, a partner with Bowman and Brooke, which has tried cases in more than 350 courthouses in 48 states as well as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and several Canadian provinces, offered their advice on ways dealers can work to protect themselves from Lemon Law complaints during CalRVDA’s annual gathering at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. And they warned dealers not to take their advice lightly.

“You have a big target on your back,” Heitz said, noting that RVs are big ticket items that provide unscrupulous attorneys with “a lot of motivation to bring in shady claims,” particularly considering laws that allow attorneys to collect fees simply for settling a case – cases that invariably cost money in legal fees and in terms of lost staff and sales time. “Your people are going to be called in for depositions. They aren’t going to be on your lot selling vehicles. They’re not going to be in your shop repairing vehicles. It’s money out of your pocket,” she said.

Aside from treating consumers as best they can, Heitz said there are a number of things dealers can do to protect themselves and improve their defenses against Lemon Law claims, including:

 

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