ROCHESTER, N.Y. (CN) - DaimlerChrysler is trying to drive its only black-owned dealer in New York state out of business by demanding money, interfering with its business and its attempts to sell the dealership - at Chrysler's orders, denying it financing and freezing its credit, Webster Chrysler Jeep claims in Federal Court.
Randy Henderson, president of Webster, who became a Chrysler Jeep dealer in 1991, says Chrysler is tortiously interfering, breaching contract and violating financial laws to squeeze him out of business even as the company begs for billions of dollars from Congress. He claims Chrysler's unfair and discriminatory tactics, including a "whisper campaign," induced 35 of his workers to quit.
"Webster seeks the immediate release of its funds and, on behalf of itself as well as those similarly situated, injunctive relief against the Draconian business practices targeted at local dealers and the communities they serve while Chrysler seeks a lucrative bailout from the federal government," the complaint states.
Webster demands an injunction and punitive damages for "an attempted wrongful termination of a motor vehicle franchise." It is represented by H. Todd Bullard with Harris Beach of Pittsford, N.Y.