Friday, October 27, 2006

Park City Services, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co. (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 27, 2006)

I know I shouldn't, but I just couldn't keep from laughing as I read about the limousine in this case, which involved a Song-Beverly Act ("Lemon Law") claim against Ford:

"[D]espite the best repair efforts of a highly regarded Dallas Ford dealership, the rear suspension [of the limousine] kept collapsing, the engine kept overheating, and the air conditioner kept blowing hot air. The cooling fan would either stay on when it was not needed or fail to turn on when it was. . . . On September 10, 2002, a young man hired the limousine to serve as the setting for his proposal of marriage to his girlfriend. Mr. Ferraro picked the couple up at a park. The limousine 'had champagne [and] roses and [was] decorated with rose petals.' Once inside the limousine, the young man proposed, and the young lady accepted his proposal. Just as 'they were hugging, flames started coming out of the hood.'" Cool!

Cutting to the chase, plaintiff said the car was a lemon and obtained a judgment against Ford at trial for $490,000 (in addition to $200,000 in costs and fees). But Justice Richli reverses, essentially because the vehicle was used by plaintiff for business in Texas, rather than California -- though plaintiff might perhaps still be able to recover some (much lesser) amount of money for breach of warranty.

What's memorable about this case, however, is not the holding. It is instead the image of your limousine bursting into flames immediately after your financee accepts your proposal. Classic.