BOONE FORD, INC. d/b/a BOONE FORD LINCOLN MERCURY, INC., a Delaware Corporation, Plaintiff,
IME SCHEDULER, INC., a New York Corporation, Defendant. and CASH FOR CRASH, LLC, a New Jersey Limited Liability Company, Plaintiff,
BOONE FORD, INC. d/b/a BOONE FORD LINCOLN MERCURY, INC., a Delaware Corporation, Defendant.
in the Court of Appeals 25 January 2017.
by defendant IME Scheduler, Inc. and plaintiff Cash for
Crash, LLC from judgment entered 1 March 2016 by Judge
William H. Coward in Watauga County Superior Court Watauga
County, Nos. 14 CVS 81, 14 CVS 502.
& Johnson, PLLC, by Nathan A. Miller, for
defendant-appellant IME Scheduler, Inc. and
plaintiff-appellant Cash for Crash, LLC.
DiVenere Wright, by Anné C. Wright, for appellee Boone
appeal involves a challenge to the consolidation of two
actions for trial in superior court. Boone Ford, Inc. filed a
complaint against IME Scheduler, Inc. alleging several claims
arising from the unsuccessful sale of a 2013 Ford SVT Raptor
pickup truck. IME Scheduler counterclaimed and its affiliate,
Cash for Crash, LLC, filed a separate complaint against Boone
Ford after the dealership refused to immediately return a
$206, 596.00 wire transfer on suspicion of money laundering.
Boone Ford's motion, Judge Jeff Hunt entered an order
consolidating the two cases for trial, which was held at the
1 February 2016 session of the Watauga County Superior Court,
Judge William H. Coward presiding. The jury denied all claims
raised by IME Scheduler and Cash for Crash and returned a
verdict in favor of Boone Ford. IME Scheduler and Cash for
Crash appeal, arguing, inter alia, that Judge Hunt
lacked authority to consolidate the cases. Because that
authority is reserved for the judge presiding over the trial,
we vacate the order of consolidation and remand to the
October 2013, IME Scheduler contacted Boone Ford to purchase
a 2013 Ford SVT Raptor pickup truck. At the time, Boone Ford
did not have the truck in stock. In exchange for a newer
model, Boone Ford acquired a 2013 SVT Raptor from a
dealership in West Virginia to consummate the sale with IME
alleged in the pleadings, Boone Ford believed that it was
selling the 2013 SVT Raptor it had acquired from West
Virginia, which had a VIN ending in -66435 and an 800A
options package, for $49, 385.50. On or about 6 November
2013, Boone Ford faxed to IME Scheduler a window sticker of
the Raptor and a bill of sale for the same. After receiving
the fax, IME Scheduler issued a $9, 000.00 down payment via
American Express credit card and, on 12 November 2013, wired
the remaining balance of $40, 385.50 to Boone Ford.
dispute arose two days later when IME Scheduler requested
another copy of the window sticker via e-mail. When the
sticker described a Raptor 800A, IME Scheduler insisted that
Boone Ford had sold the wrong truck. IME Scheduler believed
it was purchasing a 2013 SVT Raptor with a VIN ending in
-97953 and an 801A options package for $49, 385.50. It also
alleged that Boone Ford had previously faxed a window sticker
of the Raptor 801A. Unable to resolve the conflict, IME
Scheduler canceled the $9, 000.00 down payment. Boone Ford
refused to refund the $40, 385.50 and, sometime later, sold
the Raptor 800A to another party.
February 2014, Boone Ford received an unexpected wire of
$206, 596.00 into its account. The wire originated from Cash
for Crash. Alfred Glover, the owner of Boone Ford, learned
that Cash for Crash was affiliated with IME Scheduler and
that the organizations were located in New Jersey and New
York, respectively. Concerned that they were trying to
launder money through his dealership or involve him in
illegal activity, Glover contacted the Boone Police
Department, Attorneys General, FBI, CIA, and Department of
Homeland Security. Cash for Crash insisted that the wire was
a result of human error and demanded the money be returned,
but Glover refused to do so until an investigation was
complete. Approximately two months later, Glover returned the
$206, 596.00 at the direction of the Boone Police Department
which had found no connection to money laundering.
Ford filed a complaint against IME Scheduler alleging breach
of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unfair and
deceptive trade practices (UDTP), and punitive damages
arising out of the failed Raptor transaction. IME Scheduler
filed a counterclaim alleging the same claims against Boone
Ford. Cash for Crash also filed a complaint against Boone
Ford, alleging conversion, UDTP, fraud, and punitive damages
arising out of the $206, 596.00 wire transfer.
Boone Ford's motion, Judge Hunt consolidated the cases
and they were tried together before Judge Coward in Watauga
County Superior Court. The jury found for Boone Ford on its
breach of contract, fraud, and UDTP claims against IME
Scheduler, awarding $20, 000.00 in compensatory ...