SAN ANGELO, TX — A company selling RVs, or recreational vehicles, in San Angelo is the subject of a lawsuit filed at the Tom Green County courthouse. The defendants in the case, Funtown RV, located at 3560 US 67 North, will have a court hearing July 31 on whether or not the plaintiff, Midland resident Kara Stephan, can have her case heard by a jury.
The lawsuit filed May 31 claims Funtown RV and the RV’s manufacturer, Forest River, Inc., sold Ms. Stephan a pile of junk. She alleges 77 defects in her brand new, $80,000 2017 Cedar Creek Champagne RV Model 38ERK she bought from San Angelo’s Funtown RV location on May 19, 2017.
Among the defects, she alleges the water heater leaks, the hydraulic system does not function for the fifth-wheel’s landing gear and slide-outs, and the built-in wine cooler will not chill lower than 54 degrees F.
Ms. Stephan also alleges the one-year warranty she was told by the salesperson she would receive was unknowingly voided by her because she used the fifth-wheel as a permanent residence. She claims she told the Funtown RV sales person she intended to use the RV as her permanent home and the salesperson failed to warn her that would void the warranty.
Ms. Stephan alleges the salesperson’s actions were “bait and switch” tactics. Funtown RV’s lawyers replied that the salesperson was engaged only in “puffery” which is not a liability under Texas law.
Stephan’s lawsuit alleges that after attempting to gain a remedy from Funtown RV and the manufacturer, it became clear that she is expected to “accept a hopelessly flawed product.”
The hearing July 31 is for the defendants to argue Ms. Stephan is not entitled to a jury trial because in a two-page purchase agreement Stephan signed the day she bought the RV, a paragraph waiving her rights to a jury trial is located on page 2 and Stephan agreed to the waiver with her signature. It reads, Stephan “[h]ereby unconditionally waives all rights to a jury trial of any claim or cause of action based upon or arising out of directly or indirectly, this purchase agreement,” according to the motion to quash.
Whether or not Ms. Stephan gets a jury trial will be decided by Judge Ben Woodward.
Ms. Stephan claims $100,000 in damages plus attorneys fees. She also wants to be able to return what she declares was a defective RV and get a refund.
Ms. Stephan is represented by Houston attorney Perry Zively at the firm Chandler, Mathis, and Zively, P.C. Her local attorney is Guy Choate at Webb, Stokes, and Sparks of San Angelo. The plaintiffs retained Houston-based attorney Craig Dillard of Foley and Lardner.