Bellavia Gentile files lawsuit against Saab
A month after being retained by 163 Saab dealers nationwide, the Mineola law firm of Bellavia Gentile & Associates has filed an involuntary Chapter 11 lawsuit against Saab Cars North America.
Saab Automobiles, the parent company of Saab Cars, filed for bankruptcy in Sweden on Dec. 19, 2011, less than two years after General Motors jettisoned the struggling automaker.
A national council of Saab dealers selected Bellavia Gentile and Associates following the bankruptcy to negotiate with Saab Cars to ensure that each dealer receives the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to them for current warranty repairs and incentive payments.
In order to prevent the Swedish car manufacturer from squandering its assets, leeching money and other resources from its North American subsidiary, Bellavia Gentile & Associates filed the involuntary bankruptcy lawsuit against Saab Cars, thereby safeguarding the companys assets. Leonard Bellavia, founding partner of the Mineola law firm, said the North American companys money should go to the 163 Saab dealers nationwide who stand to lose large amounts of money in the bankruptcy.
Saab dealers are owed substantial amounts from Saab N.A. for warranty repairs and past incentive payments, Bellavia said. By putting Saab into an involuntary bankruptcy, these dealers stand a far better chance of collecting what they are owed. It is estimated that the liquidated assets have a value between $75 million and $125 million, including the $25 million owed by General Motors for warranty work, with liabilities estimated at $10.5 million.
All but 25 Saab dealers nationwide have signed on to have Bellavia Gentile & Associates represent them in the lawsuit, although Bellavia said he expects the remaining dealerships to join with the firm.