AG's lawsuit targets Ohio auto repair shop

Nick Rees Feb. 1, 2010, 4:00pm

Richard Cordray (D)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has filed a lawsuit against a Columbus, Ohio-based collision repair shop for multiple violations of the state's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Do Not Call law.

Mid-Ohio Collision LLC and its owner, Dominic Cimino, are charged with routinely failed to deliver, performing shoddy work and violating the Do Not Call law. The complaint against the company and its owner was filed int he Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Mid-Ohio is alleged to have advertised its service by placing calls to consumers who had been involved in car accidents, including consumers who had their phone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.

"During these calls, Mid-Ohio offered consumers rebates for having their vehicles repaired with the company," Cordray said. "Those rebates were never applied. Similarly, Mid-Ohio offered consumers discounts of $500 or 20 percent to 25 percent off repair bills, but then never delivered the discounts."

Some consumers who alleged that the company performed shoddy work reported that their vehicles had been returned to them in a condition worse than when it had gone in for repair. One consumer reported that her vehicle had been kept by Mid-Ohio for 10 months before any repair work had begun.

"This company shows clear disregard for the law," Cordray said. "Consumers are being bilked out of hard-earned money at a time when every penny counts."

Cordray's lawsuit asks the court for a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, restitution for consumers and civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation.

A similar lawsuit against Mid-Ohio was filed by the attorney general's office in 2006. In that lawsuit, Mid-Ohio was also charged with violations of the Do Not Call and Consumer Sales Practices Act.

A judge ruled in favor of the state in 2007 in that lawsuit, Mid-Ohio complied with the terms shortly after the judgment, later resuming its violations of consumer law, the new lawsuit says.

In addition to this new lawsuit, Cordray also filed a contempt action related to the 2006 lawsuit.

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