Mo. AG sues towing company over Joplin work

Bryan Cohen Jul. 11, 2011, 12:06pm


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced a temporary restraining order on Friday against a Parkville, Mo., towing company for allegedly defrauding Joplin residents.

Northland Tow Services allegedly violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act in the aftermath of the May 22 Joplin tornado. Koster alleges that the company towed motor vehicles that were damaged by the tornado, falsely represented to some customers that it worked with an insurance company and towed other vehicles without the owners' permission or knowledge. A total of 54 vehicles were allegedly towed from the area affected by the tornado to a location in Baxter Springs, Kan.

"Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers during times of tragedy," Koster said. "I want to continue to assure consumers that this office will be aggressive in going after those who engage in this illegal behavior."

The court order prohibits Northland from conducting business in Joplin, Jasper County, Mo., or Newton County, Mo., without having previously been solicited to do so. In addition, it is prohibited from transferring any motor vehicles it towed from the area affected by the tornado without prior approval of the court and from disposing of any documents related to the towing.

In June, Koster filed a similar lawsuit against Independence Tow & Recovery Inc. In both cases, Koster is seeking restitution for consumers and civil penalties.

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