San Diego, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/21/2014 -- Western Towing, Inc., The Summit of Rancho Bernardo (17161 Homeowners Assocation) and Prescott Management, and employees were named in a law suit today arising out of their scheme known as Predatory Towing. For years, San Diego based Western Towing has been towing cars from homes, shopping centers, and other private places, leaving unsuspecting owners with no choice but to pay their ransom to get their car back. According to the San Diego Superior Court, Western Towing has been sued more than 150 times in the past 6 years, losing almost all of those law suits.
“Today, a lawsuit was filed alleging Unfair Business Practices, Fraud, and numerous violations of the Omnibus Transportation Act” said Wagner. In May, Wagner and his wife left their car at a their new home, only to awake to find the car missing. “We had gotten home late from an event, and left a large amount of money in the car, thinking we were safe in our community” he said. When he arrived to the tow yard, the car was unlocked and money missing. The tow company staff said they had the right to enter Wagner’s car. A preliminary investigation revealed that the staff at the tow yard suffered a conviction in 2005 for burglary, a 2007 arrest for Spouse Abuse, and in 2008 a restraining order was taken out against him.
Unfortunate for Western Towing employees, Wagner is a paralegal and is familiar with the Omnibus Transportation Act. “Associations are prohibited from towing any vehicle unless there is a sign posted at all entrances to the complex making specific statements or the car has been cited and 96 hours has passed.” At Wagner’s community, the signs are more than 100 feet away from the entrance, one sign is hidden behind a bush, and although the sign is suppose to have the name of the CHP as the agency to call to locate your car, it lists San Diego Sheriff. In light of these failures, the law suits says, Western Towing was required to insure the vehicle was not towed without notice being placed on the vehicle 96 hours beforehand.
As this case progresses, Wagner says, there are many layers that are being discovered. The security company was required to have a licensed security guard to make the call and authorize the tow; however, according to the State of California, the guards license was suspended in 2013.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. “At this point, we are looking to take a stance against predatory towing and hold the parties accountable. This is not about money; this is about stopping predators from victimizing unsuspecting people. Several law firms have been looking into Western Towing to develop a class action lawsuit, however, this lawsuit seeks damages at more than the tow company, it seeks to hold the people who hired them accountable through the theory of vicarious liability.
Anyone who has been a victim of predatory towing is urged to contact Southland Law to protect their rights at 858.997.2811 or via email at IllegalTowing@southlandlaw.us
The case is pending in San Diego Superior Court in Vista: Wagner v. Western Towing, Inc. Case Number 37-2014-00015833-CU-PO-NC
To Download a Free Copy of the Law Suit, click HERE
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