UPDATE: Consumer Takes Sleazy Prius Salesman To Court

Angela Weigold writes in what’s new with her case against a dirtbag Prius salesman, James Gentile. This was a guy who, after the deal went raw, left multiple harassing phone messages daily, called Angela a “whore” and put her phone number on online escort websites.

WEIGOLDS: Mr. Gentile changed from jury trial to bench trial. This automatically delays another 2 months! The new date is March 15th. Our states attorney did not do his home work anyway. We are pushing him to obtain Jim’s phone records before next trial date. Another wasted day off! Don’t know what happened we were told jury trials are expensive.

CONSUMERIST: How do you think this will affect your case?

WEIGOLDS: The statute of limitations runs out 2 years from the date of the last offense. We still have time but….. hurry up and wait! We have contacted our civil lawyer waiting for a return call, we are going to tell him to proceed to file instead of waiting for the verdict from the criminal matter.

— BEN POPKEN

Previously:
UPDATE: Consumer Takes Sleazy Prius Salesman To Court
Consumer Takes Sleazy Prius Salesman To Court
UPDATE: Sleazy Prius Deal Ends in Salesman’s Arrest Warrant
UPDATE: Sleazy Prius Deal Ends in Warrant For Saleman’s Arrest
Sleazy Prius Deal Ends in Warrant For Saleman’s Arrest

Comments

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  1. asdfjk says:

    By all means, you should follow your civil attorney’s advice. But if were me, I would wait to file a civil suit until the criminal trial is over, if possible. Bench trials typically don’t take very long–usually just a day or two. But I would be surprised if the salesman doesn’t just plea out in the end, anyway.

    If it comes down to a limitations problem, you can always file the suit the day before the limitations period kicks in, and this will toll the statute of limitations until the end of your case. You could then file a motion for continuance if you had to, so the criminal verdict can come in.

    I would imagine waiting for the criminal verdict will give you more leverage in settlement negotiations, plus it may cut down on discovery costs.

    Good luck, and go get him!

  2. Falconfire says:

    beyond obvious they are stalling. Surprised the judge didnt catch it and say something to them.

    Usually judges are not thrilled with little “changes” like that.

  3. the judge must have gotten a sweet deal on a new car

  4. juri squared says:

    Thanks for reminding me again never to shop there. (It’s the closest Toyota dealer to me.)

    I sincerely hope this goes your way!

    p.s. I wonder if Jim Gentile is related to Joe Gentile, who formerly owned a big-name dealership or two in the suburbs.

  5. georget99 says:

    Doesn’t the statute of limitations clock stop running once a warrant is issued?

  6. markweeble says:

    The statute of limitations for a lawsuit is 2 yrs that is what we were told by our lawyer.

  7. QTex says:

    You should by all means follow (or at least carefully consider) the advice of your civil attorney). But if it were me, I would likely wait out the verdict of the criminal case if possible.

    Bench trials typically don’t take too long, and it’s not uncommon to have the trial date delayed after a change from jury to bench trial. Different theories of the case are offered based on who’s trying the facts, and the court likely keeps separate jury and bench trial calendars. This guy obviously deserves the worst possible things that could happen to him, but he also deserves a fair trial. But I would be surprised if this guy doesn’t just plea out before the end, anyway.

    As for the civil case, the limitations period will be tolled once the suit is filed. So as long as the suit is filed the day before the limitations period runs, the SOL will no longer matter. Waiting for the results of a bench trial will help you in two ways: It will strengthen your settlement position; and it will likely reduce discovery costs. I suppose if you ran up against a filing deadline, you could always file your complaint and then file a motion for continuance pending the outcome of the criminal trial, which are generally very easy to get early in the case.

    Good luck, and go get him!

  8. Greeper says:

    Statutes of limitations apply to the date you file a case, not the date the case is tried. If it’s a 2-year statute and you file on the very last day, you are fine even if it takes 10 years to go to trial. Also, both parties typically have to agree to a bench trial. Defendants usually prefer them because juries are far more likley to award punitives. THe plaintiff in this case might want to insist on a jury, though juries add time and trial lawyers (who charge by the day) are expensive. .

  9. QTex says:

    @ Greeper: Here, the bench trial that is referred to is the criminal case, so it’s the defendant’s choice.

    Also, I think you meant that PLAINTIFFS are more likely to prefer juries because of the possibility of awarding punitive damages. But punitive damages probably won’t apply here anyway (i.e. the salesman likely has no assets, and the dealership’s actions were likely not intentional, malicious, nor so grossly negligent to be reckless).

    And most plaintiffs’ lawyers take a contingency fee rather than bill hourly.

  10. markweeble says:

    For our civil suit our lawyer is on contingency fee. For the criminal case it is no cost out of our pockets. The states attorney said that a jury trial is exspensive. We figured out that Mr.Gentile cannot afford to pay for lawyer and cost of jury. What is the guy going to do when he is served for civil court?

  11. Charles Star says:

    There are two statutes of limitations. (1) The amount of time the gov’t has to file criminal charges and (2) the amount of time a civil plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. They are governed by different rules and are not intertwined.

    Take the advice of your own lawyer about when to file, obvs, but you shouldn’t be too worried that the criminal case will be pending longer than your own lawyer can drag out the civil case to make sure that you have a criminal judgment to work with.

  12. E-Bell says:

    A jury trial should not cost the defendant a dime, except for the time of his attorney. If he can’t afford a lawyer in his criminal case, he can and should apply for a public defender.

    So I don’t exactly follow the “cost” aspect to this delay.