Personal injury suit filed in case of alleged car repossession

By Jon Campisi | May 27, 2011

A Philadelphia woman is suing a New Jersey car dealership and a man who gifted a vehicle to her for conspiring to steal back the car from her and selling it behind her back.

In a civil complaint filed May 24 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by attorney Marc Vogin, of the firm Klein, Vogin & Gold, Francine L. Griffin alleges that Jonathan A. Oliphant, of Willingboro, N.J., took possession of her Volkswagen and conspired to sell it without her knowledge.

Although the nature of the relationship between Griffin and Oliphant is not clear from the complaint, it’s being alleged that Oliphant, who gave Griffin the car as a gift in March 2010, repossessed the vehicle in late December 2010 without Griffin’s permission and refused to give it back, the lawsuit states.

In late January 2010, Oliphant, in conjunction with defendants Burlington Kia, a New Jersey car dealership, and store employee Marcus DeAngelis, exchanged Griffin’s vehicle for another vehicle at the dealership without her permission, the lawsuit states.

Oliphant continues to possess the new vehicle, the suit alleges.

According to the complaint, while the Volkswagen was apparently a gift, Griffin had the car registered in her name, and she made monthly installment payments to Volkswagen Credit Inc. from March through December 2010.

The lawsuit contains three counts: conversion, which alleges Oliphant converted the vehicle for his own use and/or benefit; conspiracy, since the plaintiff believes the three defendants conspired against her to trade in the car for another vehicle; and punitive damages.

On the latter, the lawsuit states that the conduct of the defendants was “so outrageous as to constitute reckless indifference, willful, wanton and intentional behavior,” that the plaintiff believes she is entitled to a punitive judgment.

Griffin seeks damages from the defendants jointly and/or severally in an amount in excess of $50,000.

The case number is 110502615.

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