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Auto Body Shop and Owner Sued Over Blatantly False Statements11/22/17
Goldens Bridge, NY -- In an interesting twist, a local auto body shop, North State Custom, sued Celebrity Auto of Westchester (DBA Mercedes-Benz of Goldens Bridge) for $11.5 million, alleging that Celebrity was an unauthorized repair shop and otherwise engaged in unlawful activity. Apparently, according to Celebrity attorney, Marc J. Gross, Esq., it seems that North State did not check its facts before it filed suit.
In fact, Celebrity has filed papers in court, suing North State and its owner Gregory Coccaro Jr., and submitted proof of its New York State Repair Shop License. Celebrity has also alleged that North State’s case is frivolous and should be dismissed. Celebrity’s court filings state that after a dispute arose with North State regarding the manner in which they would bill Celebrity for parts, North State falsely claimed that “Celebrity is not a registered authorized repair shop,” and accused Celebrity of “unlawful conduct.” Celebrity’s court papers attach proof of its New York State Repair Shop License, and asserts strongly that it has at all times acted in accordance with New York State Law.
North State and Coccaro Jr. now find themselves as defendants in a counter-suit by Celebrity for their defamation, abuse of process, and other claims arising out of the false statements they made against Celebrity.
“Not only is Celebrity a licensed, fully authorized repair shop”, says Gross, a partner in New York’s Fox Rothschild LLP, but he adds, “North State and Coccaro acted in reckless disregard for the truth when they made their false allegations, and they grossly failed to conduct even the most minimal due diligence. All they had to do was check New York’s DMV’s website and they would have seen for themselves that Celebrity is fully licensed.”
According to Celebrity’s court papers, North State and Coccaro Jr., failed to check their facts before making outrageous and damaging claims against Celebrity’s business, before filing their suit, and before giving interviews where they repeatedly stated that Celebrity engaged in unlawful activity. “We intend to hold North State and Coccaro accountable to the fullest extent under the law,” said Gross. “Suing a business and seeking to harm its reputation and recklessly utilizing false facts is not something that should go unpunished.”
The Supreme Court in New York will get to weigh in on this matter, when it decides Celebrity’s pending motion to dismiss and weighs in on the facts it presented in its counter-suit over the next several weeks.