Mark purchased a used Chevy Suburban from Carr Chevrolet. Shortly after the purchase, he received a copy of the title from the DMV that showed the Suburban had been totaled and branded with a salvage title. He also found that the VIN numbers had been cut out of the Suburban, and the odometer had been rolled back. Carr Chevrolet refused to take the Suburban back and refund his money.
Michael Baxter of Baxter & Baxter, LLP, brought a case in the Washington County Circuit Court under the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act. The case was tried to a jury in 1995. After a weeklong trial, the jury returned a verdict of $1 million in punitive damages against Carr Chevrolet. Carr Chevrolet appealed the jury’s verdict up to the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court, which upheld the award in 2001.
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