Example Cases

Overview

Consumer protection cases are, by their nature, matters of public interest. In fact, any time a consumer protection case is filed in Idaho courts, the courts are required to send a copy of these complaints to the Attorney General’s office. Because these cases are of public interest, I will share a general description of allegations in the cases. This will allow the public to get a sense of the types of issues that may be subject to legal claims or defenses. I may not list all cases that I handle–only the ones that involve Unfair or Deceptive Acts and Practices (“UDAP”) claims. 

Cases

2020

Tenant Rights – The Case of the BYU-I Spring 2020 Housing Debacle. During the pandemic, landlords were refusing to honor termination provision in the student housing contract and were instead demanding student to pay rent for housing they would never occupy. READ MORE.

General UDAP – The Case of the Mover Mess. My client hired a moving company to transport her personal property in an interstate move. The mover caused significant damages to her property.

Debt Defense – The Case of the Health Club Flub IV. A debt collector sued my client for excessive and unlawful charges by a local Idaho Falls health club.

Warranty Claims – The Case of the Dishonored Warranty. My client purchased an extended service contract for his vehicle. When he made a claim, the warranty company refused back the warranty.

Vehicle Sales – The Case of the Missing Title. My client purchased a UTV. The dealer promised to send the title through the mail. It never came. My client eventually learned that the dealer did not have title.

Lemon Law – The Case of the Leaky Sun Roof. My client’s brand new vehicle had significant water leaking into it from the sunroof. If it rained or even if he washed it, water would leak in.

Debt Defense – The Case of the Health Club Flub III. A debt collector sued my client for excessive and unlawful charges by a local Idaho Falls health club.

2019

Debt Defense – The Case of the Sneaky Lender. My client turned vehicles over to the lender during the course of bankruptcy. Two years later, the lender sued my client for the discharged debt.

Warranty Claims – The Case of the Bad Transmission. My client (a low income senior) purchased a replacement transmission that came with a full warranty. The transmission turned out to be a dud. When my client made a warranty claim the seller refused to honor it.

Debt Defense – The Case of the Health Club Flub II. A debt collector sued my client for excessive and unlawful charges by a local Idaho Falls health club.

Contractor Disputes – The Case of the Solar Panel blunder. My client hired a solar panel contractor to install solar panels. Almost a year lated, the panel had still not been successfully installed.

Debt Defense – The Case of the Health Club Flub. A debt collector sued my client for excessive and unlawful charges by a local Idaho Falls health club.

Debt Defense – The Case of the Health Club Flub. A debt collector sued my client for excessive and unlawful charges by a local Idaho Falls health club.

Contractor Disputes – The Case of the Unfinished Cabin. My client hired a contractor to make repairs on her cabin. The contractor left the job half done. While my client attempted to finish the job herself, the contractor filed a lien and demanded more money.

Lemon Law – The Case of the Lights Out Car. My client purchased a brand vehicle. The headlights would randomly shut off putting her in danger. The manufacturer could not fix the problem.

Lemon Law – The Case of the Shaking Truck. My client purchased a brand new truck that would periodically shake. While traveling on the freeway, the engine seized. The manufacturer could not repair within a reasonable time.

Lemon Law – The Case of the Crooked Truck Bed. My client purchased a brand new truck and later bought a truck shell. The shell wouldn’t fit the truck bed. A mechanic determined that the truck bed itself was warped and crooked.

Debt Defense – The Case of the Double Dupe. A creditor tricked my client into agreeing to pay for an alleged debt that had long expired. The creditor then submitted false affidavits in support of the alleged debt even though the federal government previously issued an order forbidding them from engaging in this type of falsification.

Tenant Rights – The Case of the Self-Help Eviction Attorney. My client temporarily left an apartment for health treatments. While she was away, she received a letter from an attorney unilaterally evicting her from the apartment. There are no self-help evictions in Idaho. The attorney then demanded that she pay the entire amount of the remaining lease. This constituted an extreme deviation of lawful conduct by the landlord and his attorney.

Used Vehicle Sales – The Case of the Rusted Out Frame. A dealer assured my client that a vehicle was in great shape. My client purchased it and experienced immediate problems. He then discovered that the frame of the vehicle was so rusted that it was a safety hazard.

Foreclosure Defense – The Case of the Wrongful Foreclosure. A servicer began foreclosure proceedings on a loan it previously sold and no longer owned. Additionally, the servicer engaged in bad faith conduct in the handling of my client’s payments.

Tenant Rights – The Case of the Bed Bugs. A landlord was aware that his property was infested with bed bugs. Regardless, he rented the apartments out to tenants. The tenants would leave due to the bed bugs and he would just rent them out again.

Used Vehicle Sales – The Case of the Salvaged Title. After purchasing a vehicle, my client had problems getting the title from the dealer. She ultimately had to take it to the DMV where she learned that the title was a salvage title (ie: the vehicle had been declared a total loss due to an accident).

Used Vehicle Sales – The Case of the Frightening Financing. The dealer sold my client a vehicle subject-to-financing but failed to follow the Idaho subject-to-financing regulations. Instead of closing on the financing, the dealer repossessed the vehicle and refused to return my client’s trade-in and his substantial down payment.

Debt Defense – The Case of the Mysterious Mortgage. In December, my client was current on his mortgage and it would be paid off in two years. He continued making regular payments. Two months later, the mortgage servicer claimed his mortgage was past due and refused to apply his payments. The lender then began foreclosure proceedings.

General UDAP – The Case of the Realtor’s Wrongful Representations. My client was preparing to sell her house when her friend, a real estate agent, tricked her into signing a realtor agreement.

Used Vehicle Sales – The Case of the Disappearing Warranty. Shortly after purchasing a vehicle from a manufacturer authorized dealership, my client’s engine died. He took it back to the dealer who said there was nothing they could do. Later, my client learned that the dealer failed to honor a manufacturer warranty.

Used Vehicle Sales – The Case of the Certified, but broken, RV. My client purchased a recreational vehicle that the dealer sold as “certified” based on a rigorous inspection. But when my client first took the RV out, he experienced numerous problems with the operation of the vehicle, including water leaks, broken plumbing, and stuck sliders.

General UDAP – The Case of the Rolled-Away Rollers. My client purchased farm equipment (rollers) from a manufacturer. The manufacturer never got started with the job but kept my client’s money.

Medical Debt – The Case of the Mysterious Medical Bills. A Medical Debt Collector sued my client for a substantial amount. My client was not sure where the bills originated from. The provider was unable to determine why they had submitted a vast majority of the bills to collection.

2018

Wrongful Repossession – The Case of the Overzealous Dealer. My client purchased a vehicle in a private sale and cleared title through the Idaho DMV. A dealership felt the seller of the vehicle owed it money. Instead of taking action against that individual, the dealership repossessed the vehicle from my client and refused to return it even though my client presented them with the title.

General UDAP – The Case of the Mixed Up Martial Artist. My clients put their children in martial arts lessons but had to cancel for life reasons. Although the contract states that the membership can be canceled, the owner refused to allow the cancellation and sent my client’s account to collection. The collection agency then engaged in unlawful collection conduct.

General UDAP – The Case of the Storage Wars. My clients were university students in Idaho. They inherited personal property. Because they had nowhere to put it, they rented a storage unit. When my client’s moved away for the summer, the manager sold their property through an unlawful storage unit sale.

Used Vehicle Sale – The Case of the Missing Features. My clients were looking for a vehicle with all the “bells and whistles.” The dealer represented that a certain vehicle had these features and more. My clients thought it was a great deal and purchased it. However, when they looked through the manual to program the features, they discovered they were there contrary to the dealership’s representations.

Wage Claim – The Case of the Illegal Tip Pool.
The restaurant owner required my client to contribute to an illegal tip pool. When my client protested the practice, he was fired. This case has been filed in federal court.

Wrongful Repossession – The Case of the Lender who Didn’t Care
My client had a vehicle that he completely paid off. Shortly after making the last payment, a repo man came to take his car away on behalf of the lender. My client protested and pulled out the title that showed the vehicle was fully paid for. Neither the lender nor the repo man cared. They took the vehicle anyway.

Contractor Dispute – The Case of Roof-b-gone
My clients hired a roofer to repair hail damage. The next thing they know, mysterious people started showing up, tore out the roof, and left the home completely exposed to an oncoming storm. As the storm approached, the workers left. Water flooded the home causing substantial damage. No one took responsibility.

Contractor Dispute – The Case of the Vanishing Delivery Date
My client hired a contractor to build a shed by a certain date and paid a substantial down payment. Not having heard from the contractor as the date approached, they reached out to confirm the schedule. The contractor said he wouldn’t meet the date. He then refused to deliver the materials paid for or return the down payment.

Vehicle Sales – The Case of the Recreational Vehicle that was no fun
My client went to an RV dealer to purchase an RV to live in. The dealer recommended a particular used RV. After taking it to the RV park, my client began to find things were not in the condition represented by the dealer. In fact, they were stuck drinking water from a hose, using public restrooms, and wearing coats at night because of defects in the RV.

Medical Debt – The Case of Confusing Collections, Vol 2.
I’m already running out of ideas for titles on debt defense cases…. Clients were sued for medical debt but didn’t understand all the charges. Per usual, the providers did not let the clients know of the costs in advance and wanted every last penny. My clients believed the providers did not treat them fairly during the treatment and collections process. For example, they could not get an explanation of the invoices and charges prior to litigation being commenced against them. We’re fighting back.

Tenant Rights – The Case of the Disregarded Rent
My client paid rent in full. Nevertheless, the landlord demanded that my client vacate the premises for alleged lease violations. The landlord refused to return the rent money already paid.

Tenant Rights – The Case of the Disorganized Landlord
The apartment owner fired a property manager and brought in a new one. The new managers claimed my client failed to pay tent for months and proceeded with an eviction action. In reality, the landlords records were in disarray.

Medical Debt  – The Case of the Provider who Couldn’t Bill Correctly
Client received medical care. Client’s insurance informed him all the costs were covered. However, the doctors disagreed. They attempted to collect additional funds from my client. However, during the course of the case, we learned that the provider erroneously billed the client at out-of-network charges when they were actually in-network. In other words, the provider failed to bill within the requirements of the in-network contract. The case was dismissed.

Used Car Sales – The Case of the Shoddy Brakes
Client purchased a used vehicle. Shortly thereafter, my client experienced problems with the brakes. The dealer tried to fix it but couldn’t. He then took the vehicle to a mechanic who said the car was in such a bad condition that it wasn’t safe to drive. The dealer refused to take it back claiming it was sold “as-is.”

Idaho Lemon Law – The Case of the Non-Starter
Client purchased a new vehicle that included a keyless ignition. The sensor would periodically fail to register the electronic key and the vehicle would not start. This left my client stranded on a number of occasions. After numerous attempts to repair the issue to no avail, my client had no choice but to seek legal relief.

Tenant Rights – The case of the missing security deposit
My client moved out of his rental and requested his security deposit. Over a month later, there was still no sign of the money. After many attempts, the landlord finally agreed to send it. When he got the letter, however, there was no money in the envelope–just a statement of the amount owed. Fed up with it, my client sought legal relief. We obtained a full refund and payment of his attorney’s fees incurred.

Motor Vehicle – The Case of “Ride and Die”
Clients accomplished a long-time goal of purchasing brand new ATVs. The manufacture then sent them a notice stating that the ATVs were faulty and recommended that they not be used or death could result. My clients waited for months for necessary repair work. It never happened.

Debt Defense – The Case of Confusing Collections
Client had a judgment creditor seize her bank account. The account included child support, tax refunds, student loan funds, and wages. We combed through the records and asserted exemptions. We were able to resolve the matter in the courtroom on terms favorable to my client, recovering a significant majority of the seized funds. This outcome is a result of doing the homework on the exemptions and to the professional relationship developed with the creditor’s attorney.

Used Car – The Case of the Double Loan
Client purchased a vehicle and traded in his truck. The dealer agreed to pay off the outstanding loan on the trade-in but never did. As a result, the lender began demanding payments on both cars. After my client’s requests for clarification were unanswered, he informed the dealer and lender that he no longer wished to do business with them. They refused to unwind the deal or clarify the payment issues.

Debt Defense – The Case of the Wrong Guy
Client was sued by a company that did not have a contract with him. Even after pointing this out, the company determined to move forward with the lawsuit. We are seeking damages and fees for defending the frivolous case.

Home Construction – The Case of the Whacked out Windows
A contractor told my client, a widowed and disabled senior, that her windows needed to be replaced. My client told the contractor she could not afford new windows. Nevertheless, the salesperson pressured her to accept substantial financing to pay for the windows. They did not install the windows properly and cold air leaked in all winter.

New Car (Idaho Lemon Law) – The Case of the Mysterious Engine
Client purchased a new truck. Within a week, the engine light came on and he received a warning that driving the vehicle could cause irreparable damage. He took the vehicle back to the dealer. The dealer and manufacture attempted to find and repair the issue multiple times with no luck.  Yet, they refused to take back the truck.

Home Construction – The Case of This Land Ain’t Your Land
My clients wanted to build a new family home in the Idaho Falls area. They entered into an agreement with a contractor to build it. We alleged, among other things, that the contractor violated Idaho law by selling land it did not own, taking a substantial payment for this land, failing to deliver the land, and failing to perform the contract within a reasonable time.

Used Car – The Case of the Vanishing Warranty
Client purchased a used car with a warranty from used car dealer in Boise, Idaho. We allege that the dealer represented that the vehicle was in good condition and that it would come with a warranty. However, shortly after the client purchased the vehicle, it broke down. A mechanic inspected it and found that it was in such disrepair that it was not safe to drive. When my client attempted to have it repaired under the warranty, the warranty was canceled. This left my client with a junk vehicle and thousands of dollars in losses. We are pursuing damages against this dealer for violations of state and federal laws.

Auto Repair – The Case of the Nightmare Oil Change
Client paid for an oil change. A few days later, the car broke down while traveling. A mechanic informed him that oil leaked out of from the oil filter and seal which resulted in a complete loss of oil and irreparable damage to his vehicle.

2017

Landlord/Tenant: The Case of the Overreaching Landlord
Physician client had a residential lease while he was relocating that required a security deposit of a few thousand dollars. When my client was ready to move into his new home, he left the house in good condition and even paid to have the house professionally cleaned. Still, the landlord then hit him with a cleaning and repair bill for virtually the entire deposit. After asserting claims, we successfully settled this matter with my client recovering a lion’s share of the deposit.

The Case of the Never Ending Hospital Bills
Client visited a hospital in advance and advised the admissions office that he would be paying in cash. They agreed to an upfront payment for a certain diagnostic procedure. My client paid the agreed upon charges in full and the hospital performed the procedure. Nevertheless, several month later my client began receiving invoices from the hospital for thousands of dollars. We pushed back strongly and this resolved after one demand letter.

The Case of the Crappy New Car
Client purchased a new car that broke down after just a few hundred miles. I walked this person through Idaho’s lemon law and the issue was resolved by getting the client into a new vehicle at no cost to the client.

The Journey Begins
After practicing law for over six years in Las Vegas, I relocated and opened my office in Idaho Falls in October 2017!

2010-2017

Prior to opening my office, I actually defended consumer related claims on behalf of insurance companies. It was during this time that I found myself thinking that I was on the wrong side of these consumer issues. I decided I wanted to help consumers instead of insurance companies and big businesses.