Phillip Bryant and Nicholas Meriage Granted Motion to Dismiss on a Repossession Injury Claim

PS Partner: J. Phillip Bryant

PS Associate: Nicholas P. Meriage

We represented: Phillip Christophel, and Stealth Recovery, LLC

 Venue: Circuit Court of County of St. Louis

Facts:

Plaintiff sued for alleged injuries arising out of the repossession of her 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe. She alleged Stealth Recovery, LLC was an agent of Boulevard Bank, the secured creditor on the loan for Ms. Dodson’s 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe. Ms. Dodson dismissed her claims against Boulevard Bank and attempted to recover from Stealth Recovery, LLC and its employee Phillip Christophel for alleged injuries occurring during and as a result of the repossession.

Ms. Dodson alleged Boulevard Bank hired Stealth Recovery, LLC to repossess Ms. Dodson’s vehicle. Ms. Dodson alleged that during the repossession she confronted Mr. Christophel and ordered he stop the repossession. She alleges he refused and Ms. Dodson got into the drivers seat of the car. Ms. Dodson alleges Mr. Christophel then lifted the car into the air and called the police. The police arrived and Ms. Dodson was ordered from the car. She refused to comply with the police order and ultimately, upon exiting the vehicle, she was arrested. Mr. Christophel repossessed the vehicle.

Suit was filed alleging personal injury, emotional injuries, loss of use and enjoyment of the vehicle, and punitive damages seeking over $500,000.00 from Stealth Recovery, LLC and Phillip Christophel. Pitzer Snodgrass, P.C. filed a motion to dismiss arguing all of the alleged wrongful acts arose out of the repossession and alleged breach of peace occurring during the repossession. Pitzer Snodgrass P.C. argued the secured creditor owes the non-delegable duty to repossess peaceably and the duty cannot be delegated to Stealth Recovery, LLC or Phillip Christophel. The court agreed and granted the Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

Verdict:  Motion to Dismiss Granted On All Counts

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