At a trial which concluded only two days ago, September 26, 2011, a Los Angeles jury awarded plaintiff Albert Ataian a full buyback for $118,000.00 plus a civil penalty of $10,000 for Mercedes’ willful conduct. Ataian v. Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, Case No. BC 445 765.
“Mercedes has a problem with leaking seals in some of their late-model vehicles, particularly the SL series,” comments Robert F. Brennan, who served as Mr. Ataian’s lead trial counsel. “We had evidence that Mercedes sees a lot of leaks with these vehicles, but tries to blame the leaks on things not covered by the warranty, such as accident damage or non-warranty repair attempts by the owner. The jury saw right through Mercedes’ disingenuous positions and not only gave Mr. Ataian a full repurchase for his vehicle, but also assessed a civil penalty against Mercedes for its willful violation of the California lemon law.”
Mr. Brennan indicates that one of the reasons plaintiff succeeded in this case was the excellent evidence the plaintiff himself had gathered and preserved. “In all of these cases, when the plaintiff goes out and uses his camera or a video camera to preserve evidence of the defect, it goes a long, long way in helping the jury make the right decision.”
For anyone in California who may own a Mercedes SL series car or who has a late-model Mercedes with leaking seals, Mr. Brennan strongly advises that they take pictures and videos to show the leaks and what causes the leaks. “Then, of course, they should contact my firm.”