PITTSBURGH – Cooper's RV Center blames miscommunication as the reason it was named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, design defect and product liability.
The lawsuit, filed by Ronald and Kari Golden last month, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs allege they were sold a defective vehicle in 2015, and that attempts to have it repaired were unsuccessful.
Keith Conard's Murraysville-based Cooper's RV is a co-defendant, along with Keystone RV Company.
“Generally speaking, when a customer can’t be taken care of by the factory, they’ll get an attorney to draw up a letter,” Conard told the Pennsylvania Record. “Since I’ve owned the company during the last 15 years, I’ve received maybe one other letter like this.”
The plaintiffs hold the defendants, Cooper’s RV Center and Keystone RV Center, responsible for failure to repair the vehicle's alleged defects. The plaintiffs have requested a trial by jury and seek judgment against the defendants for damages in an amount that exceeds $50,000, plus court costs. They are represented by Adam J. Belletti of Pollock Morris, LLC in Waynesburg.
“This is a case of miscommunication. I’ve been trying to take care of these folks since day one. The main problem here is that they got a defective product from the factory,” Conard said.
“I had no way of knowing about it, and what Keystone did was take it out of our hands, because they had some paint issues as well. I don’t have a paint booth, so then Keystone sent their RV to Camping World in Harrisburg and they completely took it out of our hands.
"When the Goldens received it from Camping World, per the Goldens, there was a botched roof job. I offered to work with the Goldens to have it inspected at my own facility, to see if we can all converse together to find a solution.”
Conard, who says he did not need to obtain an attorney because Keystone RV Center has one and he is only “listed as the dealer” in the complaint, also says he isn’t worried about a financial burden in a possible final judgment as Cooper’s RV Center isn’t responsible for the manufacturing of the Goldens’ RV.
“I always say take care of the customer, and take care of them now. It doesn’t usually escalate to this kind of problem,” Conard said.
“Keystone is also generally a pretty good company when it comes to taking care of their customers as well. Regardless, these customers didn’t deserve this (a defective vehicle), and we need to stand behind them.”
The judge in the case is Joy Flowers Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
As for Cooper’s RV Center, Conard remains confident that business won’t be affected by a negative outcome in this case. “Our BBB rating is A+, and I’ve never had to appear in court like this before.”