A retired Jacksonville, Fla., couple suing an Orange Park RV dealership suffered a blow earlier this month when a judge sided with the dealership, ruling the case will be moved to Michigan.
This story by Scott Johnson originally appeared on News4Jax.
Leon and Patsy Carrigg’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Jacksonville in May, centers on a used 2013 RV they purchased from General RV in November 2016. The suit seeks at least $75,000.
The Carriggs were one of two couples suing the dealership for claims of bad business practices. General RV has denied wrongdoing in each case.
The Carriggs’ lawsuit says they only put 600 miles on the RV before problems cropped up, including a leaking windshield, dead batteries, a hydraulic jack system that doesn’t work and a defective awning.
But according to the company, the couple bought the vehicle as is – without a warranty.
The elderly couple said they didn’t totally understand all the fine print, including what’s called a forum selection clause that forces any lawsuit against General RV to Michigan, where the company’s corporate headquarters is located.
A judge ruled Nov. 9 that that forum selection clause is “mandatory, valid and enforceable,” which means if the Carriggs want to continue their suit, they’ll have to do it in Michigan.
They said moving the case up north and hiring a Michigan attorney would be a major financial and logistical burden for them – which, they said, is exactly what General RV wanted.
The Carriggs’ attorney, Eric Jones, claims including the clause in contracts is how General RV stops elderly and potentially cash-strapped couples from fighting them in court.