JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Friday that his office has obtained a temporary restraining order against a Kansas City towing company for state law violations.
Koster alleges that Independence Tow & Recovery violated the state's Merchandising Practices Act during the aftermath of the May 22 Joplin tornado. The company allegedly towed semi-tractors and trailers that had been damaged by the tornado and then demanded an amount for towing that was much more than the fair market price in the area. In some of the alleged incidents, the vehicles were towed without the authorization of the owners.
"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 defendant is prohibited from conducting business in Joplin under the court order and from disposing of or relocating any of the vehicles towed without a written authorization of the owner or disposing of any of the documents that are related to the towing.
An attorney representing Independence Tow & Recovery denied any and all wrongdoings.
"(Independence) was lawfully dispatched to Joplin to recover semi-tractor trailers that were damaged in the wake of the devastating tornado," Nicholas Porto, a Kansas City lawyer said, according to the Kansas City Star.