'Vette Owner Wails Over 11,000-Mile Joyride
HOUSTON (CN) - A Texas auto shop worker liked a customer's Corvette so much he put 11,000 miles on it before ditching it at a stranger's house, the car owner claims in court.
Tim Paisley sued Frank E. Coleman dba Frank's Vettes in Harris County Court.
Paisley says in the lawsuit that he was a longtime client of Frank's Vettes when in the spring of 2012 the shop's worker Marco Ruiz talked him into letting Ruiz upgrade the interior of his 1984 Corvette.
Ruiz is not a defendant in the lawsuit.
"Ruiz had limited permission to drive the vehicle from Frank's Vettes to various other necessary locations while Ruiz completed the interior work to the vehicle," the complaint states. "However, the vehicle was supposed to be parked at Frank's Vettes physical place business overnight until the repairs were completed."
Paisley claims Ruiz "soon became unresponsive" to his phone calls.
"At some point, plaintiff became aware that Ruiz began to drive the vehicle for Ruiz's everyday personal use and eventually ran up 11,000 miles on the vehicle. Ruiz finally abandoned the vehicle in August 2012 at a house owned by a man named 'Johnson,'" Paisley says in the complaint.
Paisley says he got nothing for the $3,000 he paid Ruiz. He claims he also paid $6,000 on an insurance deductible and repairs for the car after he recovered it.
He seeks damages for breach of contract, fraud and conversion.
His attorney Stuart Allen of Houston did not respond to an email asking why Ruiz was not named as a defendant.
The shop owner Frank Coleman told Courthouse News that Ruiz was not his employee.
"He doesn't really work for me. He just used to clean cars for me," Coleman said.
However, Paisley says in the lawsuit that Coleman cashed the check he wrote to Ruiz, which "reinforced to plaintiff that Ruiz was in fact employed by Frank's Vettes."
Coleman said the lawsuit had been dismissed, though there was no record of a dismissal on the docket Tuesday.