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Ohio AG files suit against collision repair shop

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Feb. 2, 2010--Ohio’s attorney general, Richard Cordray, filed a lawsuit Monday against Mid-Ohio Collision for violations of the state’s Consumer Sales Practices Act (CSPA) and Do Not Call law.

The complaint, filed in Franklin County Court, alleges the Columbus, Ohio-based collision repair company and its owner, Dominic Cimino, routinely failed to deliver, performed shoddy work, and violated the Do Not Call law, according to the lawsuit.

The company allegedly advertised its services by calling consumers who had been involved in car accidents, even when the consumers’ phone numbers were listed in the Do Not Call registry, according to the lawsuit.

“During these calls, Mid-Ohio offered consumers rebates for having their vehicles repaired with the company. Those rebates were never applied,” Cordray said. “Similarly, Mid-Ohio offered consumers discounts of $500, or 20-25 percent off repair bills, but then never delivered the discounts.”

The company has also been reported by consumers for shoddy work, and has allegedly returned vehicles in worse condition than before the repair, according to Cordray.

The lawsuit is seeking a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, restitution to consumers and civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation.

This is the second time Mid-Ohio has been charged with similar allegations.

The Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against the company in 2006, charging the company with Do Not Call and CSPA violations, according to Cordray. A judge ruled in favor of the state in 2007.

Cordray has also filed a contempt action related to the 2006 proceeding in the current lawsuit.

“This company shows clear disregard for the law,” Cordray said. “Consumers are being bilked out of hard-earned money at a time when every penny counts.”

Dominic Cimino was not immediately available for comment.

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