Plumber Sues Ford Dealership Over Truck That Was Sold To Terrorist Group

terrorist_tweetAbout a year ago, a plumbing company in Texas made the news for trading in their pickup truck for a new one. The real problem where the truck ultimately ended up: it went from hauling tools and pipes around Texas to hauling an anti-aircraft weapon around Syria for the terrorist group known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh. Now the plumbing company is suing the Ford dealership where they traded the truck in over the incident.

It’s not like the Ford dealership turned around after the trade-in and shipped the truck right to Syria. Like most trade-ins, the dealership sent the vehicle to be sold at auction, and it was exported to a buyer in Turkey. The truck made its way to Syria, which its original owner never would have known about if it weren’t for a fateful tweet of the vehicle in action.

jihadi_Plumbing

We know that it was the same truck, since it still had the company’s name and phone number on the door. According to the lawsuit, when a representative from the plumbing company started peeling their business decal off the door, a dealership employee said that it might damage the truck’s paint, and to leave that task to the dealership. You can see in the above picture how well that worked out.

The aftermath was terrifying for employees of the plumbing company: last year, they told reporters that they took the batteries out of the office’s cordless phones, since they never stopped ringing. They missed plenty of legitimate business calls, but it was worth it not to listen to threats coming in on what callers probably thought was some kind of Jihadi Hotline.

The plumbing business claims that the incident lost them business and damaged their reputation, led the owner and employees to fear for their lives, and cost them business during the week that they had to close down entirely. The story appeared on the series finale of The Colbert Report, which had more than double its usual number of viewers that night. Whenever the story pops up in the news, including when the Report’s director was nominated for an Emmy award and the truck appeared on-screen during the ceremony. News reports of this lawsuit will probably lead to a fresh round of phone calls, too.

Texas Plumber Sues Car Dealer After His Truck Ends Up on Syria’s Front Lines [New York Times]
Mark-1 Plumbing, Inc. v. Charlie Thomas Ford, Ltd. [Scribd]