Truecar Lawsuits Draw Truth in Advertising Legal Authority Thomas Williams, Esq. - Joins Litigation Team
Bellavia Blatt & Crossett, P.C. today announced an alliance with Lanham Act expert Thomas Williams, Esq., partner of the firm Ulmer & Berne, LLP, in prosecuting the lawsuit Dependable Sales and Services, Inc., et. al. vs. TrueCar, Inc., alleging false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act, the primary federal "truth-in advertising" statute in the United States.
Mr. Williams is the author of False Advertising and the Lanham Act: Litigating Section 43(a)(1)(B), the leading treatise about the Lanham Act, and specializes in false advertising, trademark and unfair competition litigation, as well as trademark prosecution and counseling.
Currently, there are approximately 150 non-subscribing TRUECar dealers and an equal number of TRUECar subscribing dealer plaintiffs to be participating in two separate lawsuits against TRUECar, a number that is expected to increase as the suits progress.
The lawsuit alleges that TRUECar's "no haggle" promise is completely untrue and its advertising misleads consumers into believing that the vehicle they are interested in purchasing is in stock; that they also are qualified to receive all available manufacturer rebates - a virtual impossibility - and for using the term "below invoice" to imply that it will be sold below dealer cost.
Additionally, it is alleged that TRUECar advertising fails to disclose that the $299 fee the dealer must pay for each transaction adds to the cost of the vehicle. These allegedly false claims affect not only the consumer, but both subscribing and non-subscribing TRUECar dealers by creating an unsatisfactory sales experience for the purchaser and lost sales to the dealers.
"Having Tom Williams, the premier Lanham Act expert in the country, join this lawsuit validates our false advertising allegations against TRUECar," said Bellavia Blatt Senior Partner Leonard Bellavia. "We are pleased that an attorney at this level of expertise in Lanham Act litigation will help to right the wrongs we allege that TRUECar has committed against automobile dealers and consumers nationwide."
"Bellavia Blatt has long been a proponent of the rights of automobile dealers and this lawsuit on their behalf demonstrates that commitment," said Mr. Williams. "Our firm looks forward to working with Bellavia Blatt on behalf of thousands of dealers in promoting truth in advertising and to achieving a successful outcome for our clients."
About Bellavia Blatt & Crossett
Bellavia Blatt is recognized as one of the preeminent automobile dealership representation firms in the country. For almost 30, years the firm has advocated for dealer rights, including serving as co-lead counsel in the Chrysler Bankruptcy proceedings, lead counsel in the mass action lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury on behalf of 148 rejected dealers, lead counsel in the Saab Bankruptcy for 162 Saab dealers and on behalf of 1,048 dealers in an antitrust mass action against CARFAX.
About Ulmer & Berne
With offices in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ulmer & Berne is ranked among the National Law Journal's Top 350 Law Firms. The full-service firm represents a diverse client base across the U.S. and abroad. With a nationally recognized reputation of delivering clients superior service and value, and the best legal expertise and resources, they represent publicly traded and privately held companies, financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, hedge funds, private equity funds, international joint ventures and affiliations, investor groups, emerging businesses, public bodies and nonprofit organizations with their litigation and business needs.