Bring on Goliath: Lemon Law Justice in America

Overview

All of us face the inevitable car buying experience. And each of us silently prays that our vehicle will be free of problems ‹ that we do not wind up with the proverbial LEMON.

Lemons have existed since cars started rolling off assembly lines 100 years ago. Although state and federal consumer protection laws have been enacted, the cunning auto industry has found ways to circumvent its responsibilities. Motivated by profit, it has set up obstacles to thwart lemon owners from ...

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Overview

All of us face the inevitable car buying experience. And each of us silently prays that our vehicle will be free of problems ‹ that we do not wind up with the proverbial LEMON.

Lemons have existed since cars started rolling off assembly lines 100 years ago. Although state and federal consumer protection laws have been enacted, the cunning auto industry has found ways to circumvent its responsibilities. Motivated by profit, it has set up obstacles to thwart lemon owners from seeking resolution ‹ all for the sake of frustrating buyers to either go away or accept something far less than owed.

Bring on Goliath is Attorney Vince Megna's exposé of the errant auto industry, the "Giant," as he calls it. For nearly 14 years, he has successfully fought this Giant, representing car buyers from all walks of life. Armed with laws, his most powerful weapon turns out to be his undying determination to fight for justice. Megna is a David crusading against one of the largest Goliaths ever. His winning record will make you stand and cheer. Gripping, informative, revealing and at times, laugh-out-loud funny.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781928771166
  • Publisher: Ken Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2003
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue
Definition of Lemon Law
Chapter 1 The Showroom
Chapter 2 It¹s Just a Game
Chapter 3 What Took So Long
Chapter 4 Like a Woman
Chapter 5 The Runaround
Chapter 6 The American Lemon
Chapter 7 Lemon Law
Chapter 8 My Lemons
Chapter 9 The Double Standard
Chapter 10 Kangaroo Courts of Arbitration
Chapter 11 You, Me and the BBB
Chapter 12 Trials and Tribulations
Chapter 13 My Favorites
Chapter 14 No Defect Too Small
Chapter 15 Nothing but the Facts
Chapter 16 Closing Thoughts
Epilogue
Acknowledgements

APPENDICES
State by State Rating
Resources

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First Chapter

PROLOGUE

I don¹t give a shit if they take
it or not. If the plaintiff doesn¹t
settle, it doesn¹t matter to us. We
tell them, "We¹re coming after you."

‹ James A. Brown
Assistant General Counsel
The Ford Motor Company
National Law Journal
March 18, 1996

I get to my office around 10:00 a.m. sharp. I check with our receptionist Sharon for messages and see if anything is on the seat cushion of my custom leatherette "executive" chair. All emergencies or urgent matters somehow find their way to this chair. Then, I walk downstairs hoping to find a cold Diet Coke in the refrigerator. Nothing else will do. I won¹t drink Pepsi, Mountain Dew or some 10 percent real fruit flavored non-carbonated punch. With Coke in hand, I return to my office to see what major manufacturer will be sued next. This, typically, is how my day begins.

Mid-March 1996 was no exception. When I returned to my office with the first Diet of the day, I noticed that the new National Law Journal, a weekly newspaper for the legal profession, had arrived. The front page caught my eye. Some arrogant looking SOB was pictured in white shirt and black tie, with arms folded, standing abrasively in front of a blue Mustang convertible. The caption read, "Lean, Mean Litigation Machine ‹ Ford Thinks It Has A Better Idea: Hardball."

The individual that I had judged an arrogant bastard was none other than James A. Brown, assistant general counsel at Ford Motor Company and manager of product liability litigation. Mr. Brown was delivering a message on behalf of the High and Mighty Detroit Giant to plaintiffs¹ attorneys and the clients they serve. The crux of the message was simple. Ford had changed its corporate attitude from "Screw you," to "Fuck you."

Mr. Brown would lead the charge against victims injured by defective Ford products. Cases would no longer be settled based on merit. The Giant would try any case, no matter how small, no matter how great the risk of a mammoth jury verdict, just to scare other victims and their lawyers from filing suit. The message was clear: "If you sue Ford, be ready for war." And, as part of the battle cry, plaintiffs were offered a one-time, take-it-or-leave-it, low-ball settlement. If they took it, fine; Ford got off cheap. If they rejected it, Mr. Brown¹s zealous statement on the front page of the Journal eloquently summed up Ford¹s compassion for the injured.

"I don¹t give a shit if they take it or not. If the plaintiff doesn¹t settle, it doesn¹t matter to us. We tell them, ŒWe¹re coming after you.¹"

For over a decade, I¹ve been fighting Giants. I¹m a Lemon Law lawyer practicing out of Waukesha, Wisconsin. I represent people who buy cars and trucks and suffer for it. My track record is good. In fact, it¹s more than good. I¹m one of the best in the country. Out of more than 1,000 cases in 13 years, I¹ve lost 9. But on this day, I didn¹t file any lawsuits. I didn¹t write any letters to Dearborn, Michigan. I didn¹t make any phone calls to GM¹s attorneys, Bowman & Brooke, in Minneapolis. What I did do was more important.

I took the Journal, got in my car and drove to Creative Enterprise, my brother-in-law¹s wholesale framing business.

I waited three hours while one of the most disheartening stories I had ever read was double matted and framed.

Today, the Attorney Brown Hardball article hangs in my office as a continuous reminder of the Almighty Industry we fight and the true corporate greed that permeates our society.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2003

    Bring on Goliath: Lemon Law Justice in America

    I found this book very helpful and entertaining. If you have ever been caught up in the shady tactics that go on at 'your friendly car dealer' you'll appreciate Goliath. The author has a unique way of weaving intriguing, sometimes hilarious, real life legal stories about the auto industry throughout the book. In the vein of Stupid White Men and Lies..., Bring on Goliath tells the truth about an industry built on greed. I'll definetly be better prepared the next time I go car shopping. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    For All Car Owners

    Every one of us has our own experiences getting ripped off. It starts with the hidden options at the time of purchase and extends all the way to that 'minor' item that just quits working. Until I read Bring on Goliath, I wasn't even aware of some of the sneaky tactics that had been used on me or what my rights were in regards to those. From the examples Mr. Megna cites for the laws in some states, it sounds like I'm expected to prepare myself for battle if I get a problem car. If I buy defective merchandise, especially if it is under warranty, why do I need to be extra intelligent or assertive in order to get the problem repaired or replaced or to get my money back? A simple return seems to work everywhere but the automotive industry. Even if it's only a tiny percent of consumers who purchase lemons, I sure want someone like Mr. Megna on my side if I'm one of those unfortunates. Bring on Goliath is well-written and very funny. Most important is the serious message that I do have rights as a consumer. This book is clear and concise and speaks in a language that the ordinary among us can understand. I recommend this book highly to anyone who owns a car.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2003

    Bring on Goliath: Lemon Law Justice in America

    When I read Bring on Goliath, I couldn¿t help thinking back to Roger and Me, Michael Moore¿s first film about General Motors. The auto industry will hate this book. It reveals an anti-consumer corporate attitude that is revolting. This is the type of book I would expect from Moore if he were a lawyer. Vince Megna uses the courts, instead of videotape, to take on the auto industry. Goliath is a very interesting anti-corporate read from a unique perspective.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2003

    Bring on Goliath: Lemon Law Justice in America

    This was a great read! The case stories are hilarious. I was somewhat surprised to see how arrogant the car manufacturers actually are. It was troubling to learn the tactics Ford and General Motors will take in order to avoid responsibility. The book gives an interesting understandable history of the the auto industry, warranties and consumer protection law. Very funny but yet informative.

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