A woman claims her husband burned to death inside his truck because a poorly installed television set in an oncoming motorcoach fell from its mount, bonking the driver on the head. The driver’s wife tried to steer the vehicle but it struck the truck, which burst into flame, killing the truck driver.
The widow, Roxane Rodriguez Leal, sued the retailer that provided the motorcoach, Lazydays in Seffner, Fla., according to the Courthouse News Service.
She claims Monaco Coach Corp. designed and built the 2004 motorcoach with a defective TV mount over the driver’s seat. “Monaco received customer complaints regarding televisions falling out of the area in which they were installed, but the company failed to address those complaints,” she says in the suit.
She did not, however, sue defunct Monaco Coach. Instead, she sued Lazydays, from whom Don Tolner and his wife bought their motorcoach. The Tolners are not named as defendants either.
Leal claims the Tolners’ motorcoach drifted onto the median on southbound U.S. 77 in Texas, which dislodged the TV and dumped it on Don Tolner’s head, “rendering him unable to drive the vehicle.” His wife tried to regain control but failed, and “steered it into the tractor unit that Jose Luis Leal was driving northbound on U.S. 77. As a result of the collision, the tractor unit caught fire, and Jose Luis Leal burned to death,” according to the complaint.
Leal and her two minor children seek damaged for medical and funeral expenses, loss of her husband’s income, and her husband’s death, pain and suffering.
They are represented by Robert Ammons of Houston.
Lazydays announced today (Jan. 12) that it has taken on the newest line of motorhomes by Monaco RV LLC.
Lazydays CEO John Horton said in a news release that Seffner, Fla.-based Lazydays and Monaco share a passionate dedication to RVers that has resulted in scores of happy customers in the past and will continue to grow as the RV industry moves into the future.
“Over the past decade, Lazydays and Monaco have cultivated a strong relationship built on trust and the mutual devotion to helping RVers fulfill their dreams,” said Horton. “We look forward to building on this relationship. As a longtime top Monaco dealer, we are confident that Monaco RV will be a market leader for many years to come.”
Monaco RV President Kay Toolson asserted that Lazydays’ commitment to its customers is extraordinary and that both Lazydays’ and Monaco’s tremendous devotion to the RVer is a sign that the future is bright for those who love RVing.
“It has always been our goal at Monaco, as it has with Lazydays, to take care of our customers better than any competitor ever could,” said Toolson. “The bond between our two companies is going to make the experience for our mutual customers the best it can possibly be. We look forward to many successful years together.”
Lazy Days RV Center Inc., doing business as Lazydays, today (Dec. 22) announced it has successfully completed a court-supervised financial restructuring process that began on Nov. 5.
As a result of the restructuring, Wayzata Investment Partners LLC, through the funds it manages, has become the majority and controlling shareholder of Lazydays and its subsidiaries.
“We are very pleased to have wrapped up our financial restructuring in a relatively short time — and to have done so without any disruption to our business, without breaking any commitments to our business partners, and without sacrificing the level of service our customers have come to expect over the past 33 years,” said John Horton, president and CEO of the Seffner, Fla.-based RV dealership. “We never wavered from our promise to strive to provide our customers with the perfect RV purchase and ownership experience.”
In response to increasing retail activity and the company’s improved financial position, the dealership has recently increased the size of its work force by 65. “At a time when jobs are difficult to find in our community, we are thrilled to have been able to create jobs as well as recall some of our past employees,” said Horton.
The implementation of the financial restructuring plan eliminates all of its bond debt, significantly reduces its annual cash interest costs, provides new equity financing and puts the company on strong financial footing for the future, Horton said. None of Lazydays’ business partners were adversely impacted by the financial restructuring.
Horton added, “Lazydays has benefited from Wayzata’s commitment to our successful restructuring, and we look forward to working with Wayzata to grow the company and increase shareholder value.”
Putting the changes in perspective, Horton emphasized what has remained the same: “For the last 33 years, the men and women who comprise the Lazydays family have worked tirelessly to fulfill our customers’ RV dreams. Today, with the financial restructuring process in the rear view monitor, Lazydays is poised to face the future with an even stronger passion and commitment to our customers than ever before. With unbridled determination, the Lazydays family has stood together through a difficult time and is starting to grow again. The future is bright, and the place RVers call home has become even better.”
Since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month, Riverside, Calif.-based RV maker Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. has received the court’s go-ahead to pay what it owed utilities, workers compensation benefits and employees, among other items, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
The company also has been granted permission to honor its warranties and dealer incentives — good news for the company and the company’s largest dealership, Lazydays RV Supercenter in Tampa, Fla., which has $15 million worth of Fleetwood inventory on its lots and $1.2 million worth of warranty claims on its books, according to statements at a recent bankruptcy hearing.
What remained uncertain as of late last week was the company’s efforts to obtain debtor-in-possession financing — a key that would allow Fleetwood to continue operating while officials try to find someone to buy the company.
A budget submitted in court filings forecasts the company’s sales and expenses from March 15 through June 14. According to the budget, Fleetwood expects to sell $81 million worth of products in that time.
But the company’s purchases, payroll, operating costs and more would cost it $103.3 million.
Fleetwood also needs $8.7 million to secure a bond to build military housing at Fort Bliss in Texas — part of a multi-million Defense Department contract.
The difference could be paid with debtor-in-possession financing — essentially a line of credit to keep it operating while a buyer is sought.
That’s where Bank of America, which has been a lender to Fleetwood, stepped in to offer an $80 million line of credit. However, it proposed charging Fleetwood $2.4 million in closing fees.
Hamid Rafatjoo, an attorney representing creditors, called the fee “outrageous” during last week’s bankruptcy hearing.
Wording in the more than 200-page financing proposal also indicated that the bank or Fleetwood could raise the $80 million credit limit at will without informing anyone else, Rafatjoo said.
“The committee isn’t going to support giving away the entire business to the bank,” he said.
A final proposal is due to the court by April 21.
Upon learning that 325 Country Coach International members were notified that their March owner’s rally was canceled, Lazydays RV Center Inc. has offered to hold a complimentary rally in its place.
In a press release, Lazydays said that the club’s registration fees of $50,000 weren’t being refunded. Country Coach, which has not been in operation since December and recently filed for bankruptcy, stated in a Jan. 28 announcement on its wesbite that it would be holding an East Coast rally in June to replace the March event.
The Lazydays rally will take place April 27-30 at the dealer’s “RallyPark” on the company’s site in Seffner, Fla. The event will also include breakfast, lunch and RV seminars daily as well as a farewell dinner and bingo tournament on the last night.
Additionally, Lazydays said it will provide emergency repairs and offer a special discounted labor rate to members requiring service work while at the rally.
“Soon after discovering this unfortunate situation, the employee partners of Lazydays felt compelled to provide these members an alternative rally experience,” said Pat Overby, Lazydays general sales manager.
Seffner, Fla.-based Lazydays RV Center Inc. dealer achieved 10.4% national market share in the class A diesel motor home category, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., that tracks RV registrations.
Statistical Surveys recently announced retail sales performance for new RV registrations for calendar year 2008. During this time period, Lazydays gained national market share in each category that it represents; Class A diesel motorhome, Class A gas motorhome, Class C motorhome, travel trailer and fifth-wheel.
“I am very proud of our sales professionals and our entire company,” said CEO John Horton. “Having one out of every ten new diesel motorhomes in the United States sold by Lazydays is a result of the relationships we build with our customers and the industry leading products we offer them.
“We will continue growing our market share by maintaining our focus on making customers for life.”