KNB Motors loses appeal in customer fraud case over sale of car declared total insurance loss

By Cook County Record | Feb 13, 2019

ELGIN - A state appeals court has rejected the attempt by a used car dealer to undo a judgment entered against it in a consumer fraud case accusing it of selling a car that had been written off as a loss by an insurance company, yet not telling the buyer.

On Jan. 28, a three-justice panel of the Illinois Second District Appellate Court upheld a DuPage County judge's decision in favor of plaintiff Edith Reyes in her dispute with KNB Motors.

“We hold that the court’s treatment of KNB's defenses was proper,” Justice Mary Schostok wrote in the court decision

The complaint revolves around the sale of a 2008 Honda Accord by KNB Motors to Reyes and her husband. According to the filing, the dealership sold the car to the couple for $12,983, but allegedly did not inform them an insurer had declared the vehicle a total loss. Reyes said she discovered this in August 2015 when she took the car in for repairs and was told it had been marked as a loss and an extended warranty would not cover the work. 

Thus, Reyes claims the sale of the vehicle violated the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. 

After the DuPage County court found for Reyes, KNB appealed, asserting the court had given short shrift to its defenses.

The dealership asserted the court “should have considered only whether its defenses were legally adequate,” and not if Reyes could defeat them. 

The appellate justices disagreed, however.

The dealership also asserted that Reyes did not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses to repair the car and therefore the court-awarded money would be a “windfall.”

Again, the justices did not agree.

“KNB does not supports this assertation properly,” Schostok wrote. “It fails to cite any authority on the issue of what an appropriate measure of damages would be for a claim of this kind. Diminution of the expected resale value, which was the measure of damages Reyes claimed is a proper measure of damages in a consumer fraud action."

The court decision was delivered as an unpublished order issued under Supreme Court Rule 23, which limits its use as a precedent. 

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Circuit Court of Dupage County Illinois Second District Appellate Court

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