Richard Jenkins got his way with Ourisman Chevrolet, but it took him five years and a little help from a Prince George's Circuit Court jury.
The jury yesterday awarded almost $22,000 to Jenkins, saying that Ourisman Chevrolet Inc. of Marlow Heights had committed breach of contract and fraud and violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act when it sold Jenkins a used 1980 Camaro Z-28 that the sales contract listed as a new 1981 demonstration model.
Frank J. Katen, comptroller of Ourisman, had "no comment at this time" about the case. "It is still too fresh and we haven't had time to review it," he said.
Jenkins, who works as a new car salesman at a Pontiac dealership, said he became suspicious of the car's model year about two days after the purchase when he found papers in the glove compartment from a previous owner that said the car was a 1980 model. Jenkins, who lives in Waldorf, said he became more suspicious when he noticed the car had been painted, which would have been unusual for a demonstration model.
Jenkins bought the car from Ourisman in April 1981, according to court records, for $7,695 plus finance charges. "I'll tell you what," Jenkins said after the jury's verdict. "My customers know what they're buying."
Bruce Plaxen, Jenkins' attorney, said the jury awarded $10,000 in compensatory damages and $11,848.48 in punitive damages to his client.