Woman Sues Dealer after Buying Rebuilt Wreck

A woman from Taylor who claims Santo Volvo sold her a car rebuilt after a salesman wrecked it filed suit against the dealership.

Since Newswatch 16 first report on Santo Volvo in Moosic, it has learned the dealership was cited and fined by the state, as four salesmen peddled cars without a license.

The suit claims one of those unlicensed salesmen working the lot at the dealership was the same man who helped sell the red Volvo S40 to Brittany Tulaney and her father in 2007.

“I don’t know how anybody could actually do that, let alone get away with it,” said Tulaney of the dealership.

Brittany Tulaney, 23, is fighting back.

Thursday she filed suit against the Moosic dealership for unfair trade practices and fraud, claiming the car was sold as new, a claim supported by sales documents.

At the time, Tulaney said, she had no idea the car was wrecked in Scranton, repaired at Santo’s body shop, and put back out on the lot with other new cars.

“It’s plain out fraud, just shady,” said Tulaney.

Only later did she learn, sales associate Michael Curtis, the man she said convinced her to buy the car, wrecked that same car six months earlier, according to the police report.

Curtis later pleaded guilty to drunk driving and marijuana possession.

“Santo Volvo has been given no less than three chances to remedy the situation,” said attorney Jody Healy who added, “Santo has failed at every attempt.”

Healy, who represents Tulaney, said there is a reason Michael Curtis didn’t have a license to sell cars while working at Santo Volvo. “We have done our own investigation, we have seen his criminal background, and I can assure you, he would never have been eligible for a license, given what we know about him,” said Healy

Newswatch 16 checked Michael Curtis’ criminal background. We found a conviction for stealing a car in the 1980s. In the 1990s he did time for breaking into and burglarizing Dickson City restaurants, department stores and offices.

Curtis also was convicted of drunk driving in 2000 and again in 2007, when he wrecked the car he later sold to Tulaney.

Thursday afternoon in a telephone interview, Greg Santo would only say the dealership did not break any rules and said he fired Curtis after a background check. Santo would not agree to an on-camera interview but said he’s upset that he’s accused of fraud. Fraud is the exact word former customer Tulaney is using in her lawsuit.

“I want justice,” said Tulaney. “I want them to pay the price. I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”

Action 16 Investigates also talked to Volvo-North America about the latest in this case. A spokesman said the automaker cannot comment, because of the lawsuit filed against this dealership Thursday morning.

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