My friend Gordon
has just finished up a lawsuit against Peter Farrell Supercars.
Here is what happened before the trial and the verdict from
the trial. To say the least, Peter Farrell/PFS owes Gordon a
large amount of money ($35k in damages and $100k+ in legal fees).
The story in a nutshell. I had had Peter do about $18,000
worth of work on my car since the day I bought it new. Then,
in Nov., 1998, I told Peter I wanted to go single turbo. Peter
told me I could just buy Ed Taylor's car, which Ed had traded
in to Peter for a 3 rotor conversion. I talked to Ed about his
old car, but passed, because I knew Ed had raced the car. I
knew my car was perfect.
I told Peter to upgrade mine. After a lot of haggling we decided
to port my motor and rebuild it to race car tolerances, put
a "like-new" used single turbo on it, and do a bunch
of other stuff, like a custom race intercooler, etc. Peter quoted
me a "500 HP turbo motor". gave him my car in January,
1999, and picked up the car in late march.
The car ran like a piece of shit. Much worse than when I gave
it to him. Less power and almost undriveable. I took the car
to a new guy near me, Dave Barninger of a new shop called KD
Rotary. Dave agreed that there was something really wrong with
the car. Brought it back to Peter. Picked it up a few weeks
later and it still ran like shit. Went to MADS and showed it
to Peter. He drove it with me on the race course, hard. It ran
OK flat out, but was still undriveable at normal pace. Took
it back. Took it back to Peter who said he would install an
electromotive TEC II. Called after a few weeks and they said
he was in Greece or something.
They said they wouldn't be getting to it for a while, so I
went and picked it up around end of may, 1999. On way back,
it caught fire. Had it towed to KD Rotary. They found the wiring
harness had melted and caught fire. Built new harness. The car
had pieces falling off it, they fixed. The IC pipe from compressor
kept coming off, losing boost and banging into the hood and
denting it. Bunch of other stuff. I spent about $14,000 over
many months of not driving the car. In July of 2000, KD and
I took it to a dyno and it only made 275-300 RWHP, or less than
before taking it to Peter. They said the turbo was bad... and,
I had put on less than 2000 miles since picking it up from Peter.
KD Rotary sent the turbo to Majestic Turbo and they rebuilt
it. Opened it up and put in bigger compressor wheel, balanced
and lightened the spindle. They said the turbo wheel had caked
up with burnt oil and the vanes were chewed up badly. Wheel
couldn't spin well and wouldn't be balanced and couldn't make
much power. Suggested it had been raced hard and abused. Got
it back in august and Dave put it back in the car. Took it out
for a test drive the first week of September, 2000 and it blew
up. (The motor). back to KD rotary. Dave took the motor apart
and emailed me on September 19th and told me the motor was shot.
Said it looked like a motor with 80,000 miles of wear and said
the housings were so badly chewed up, it couldn't;t be rebuilt.
Dave also said the engine, btw, wasn't my original engine, but
the number on the block was from a guy named Ed Taylor's car
(gave me the vin and I had Mazda run it).
I bought a reman, Dave ported it and reassembled everything
for another $4500 or so. In later September, the 26th, I sent
Peter a letter asking for my money back. Peter replied and said
nothing doing. I though hard about suing him, but didn't think
the cost was worth it. Over the course of the next 5-6 months
though, I blasted PFS and Farrell on the Internet. So did many
others who felt "ripped off". in June of 2001, Peter
Farrell sued ME and Malloy Mazda and john duff and David Penner
for defamation, and conspiracy to put him out of business by
saying bad, untrue things about him on the Internet. He had
duff fired and arrested for embezzlement.
After a year of legal bullshit, we had a trial. All this drained
me and my family emotionally and the legal bills for 2 law firms
ran me well into 6 figures. As you know, the jury did the right
thing. That's it... almost. a few months before the trial, I
posted to the Internet asking if anyone had bought a silver
1993 RX-7 from Peter Farrell in early 1999 (Ed Taylor's car
was silver). a guy emailed me and said he owned the car in question.
I verified it by vin. He said he had bought it from a guy who
said it had had a 1995 18,000 mile motor transplanted in it
according to the guy he bought it from. I called that guy and
he said Peter Farrell had sold him the car in march of 1999
and said that the motor was like new and had come out of a 1995
RX-7 I verified the vin on the motor and it was mine.
So, what Farrell had done was take Ed Taylor's motor out of
his car, turbo, electronics (boost controller, additional injector
controller, downpipe, turbo and all, and put it into my car.
This is the engine from the car I had turned down buying, because
I thought it had been abused. that car had sat at PFS from July
of 1998 to march of 1999 without anyone buying it, probably
because it ran so bad, and had stuck it in my car, without rebuilding
it or doing much of anything to it. He took my perfectly good
motor out and put it in Ed's car and was now able to sell that
for a very good price. He made money on both sides of the deal
without doing any work at all. How much money? hard to say,
but he sold Ed's car for something like $19,000 and I have a
bill for the motor he put in, my motor, for $3800. He sold me
the turbo and motor for just under $10,000. Cost to him? about
$1000 worth of work.
That's the story.
Well, the trial is over and I (and the net...) have won convincingly.
I thought I 'd make a few comments that I am (now) fairly sure
I can make without any fear of consequence... I paid for this
right well into six figures and fortunately the courts will
have Mr. Farrell repay me the expense. This will be a very large
sum of money even should the judge reduce it somewhat.
Soooo. First, we did not just win, we crushed him (Farrell/PFS).
The jury rightfully determined that every one of Peter's claims
was wholly unfounded, and then went on to award every single
one of our counterclaims in a UNANIMOUS verdict. In total the
jury was presented with 10 questions to deliberate. The final
score: Monsen 10 Farrell 0. the jury found that Mr. Farrell
The jury found that Mr. Farrell breached his contract to upgrade
my car. And the jury found that he violated the Virginia Consumer
Protection Act in his dealings with me. Our victory will be
permanent and far reaching, despite any hopes to the contrary.
It may also have an effect on the remaining lawsuits that Mr.
Farrell has still outstanding against his former employees,
and Debra Singleton. These people regardless of other, exogenous
issues that may or may not exist, have been relentlessly pursued
by their former employer and have few financial resources to
combat what I believe is an "abuse of process". (One
of my attorneys has suggested he might defend them pro bono
and will be contacting them in that regard) This is not the
last chapter we intend to write either. We believe Peter misused
the legal process to attempt to intimidate and out muscle those
that were brave enough to criticize his practices. Mr. Farrell
has caused me and my family incredible hardship over the past
year. Mr. Farrell threatened me and then sued me. He told my
attorney that he would take my cars from me and other possessions,
if I didn't have the money to pay him. We couldn't bring this
suit until we won the other two suits. We have and now we will.
And we should prevail. If we succeed in this suit, it will add
further damages to the pile we have already accumulated. It
is of note that the damages and fees were awarded against BOTH
Peter Farrell Supercars and Peter Farrell personally (though
Farrell's attorney spent most of his closing arguments trying
to separate Mr. Farrell personally from his company).
Second, I want to thank my attorneys, Phil Desfosses of Desfosses
Law Associates in New Hampshire, and Chip Purcell, my required
Virginia state counsel, of William, Mullins, Clark, & Dobbins,
Washington, DC, and indirectly, Paul Emerick, of the Hudgins
Law Firm, Alexandria, Va. I would like to thank Phil's son Alfie
for assisting in gathering information and arranging for witnesses.
And, I would like to thank Chris Carlisi for researching the
case law, drafting several motions, and putting up with all
my bullshit. All played a role in the success of this year long
effort. However, as all the counsel involved would readily attest,
it was Phil Desfosses who WAS the litigator. He directed the
research, depositions, hearings, and trial strategies. And,
he was brilliant in court.
Needless to say his conduct was of a much higher character than
Peter's attorney who seemed more adept at name calling and slinging
petty insults than applying the law. Some of his more
amusing or pathetic "points" include accusations that
I have a drinking problem (in AA for 13 years suggests I do
have a problem), that "people who know [me] don't like
me," and my personal favorite, that I acted with treachery
comparable to Al Quaida.
As for our future plans (my attorneys and I have become close), I have no idea what Farrell may be doing, but MY attorney is
taking a vacation to Alaska and his staff is working on our
process suit. I have always thought Farrell himself did a lot
of this work (and am pleased he has). He may be working on a
motion right now to avoid or negate the inevitable payment of
awarded monies. Meanwhile, I expect that his attorney is the
only winner on his side, assuming his attorney has been paid.
I would not want to be his attorney, if he has not been paid
And, this is to Peter Farrell. Peter, when we met at the last
deposition (Dave Barninger), I told you that you should drop
the suits, because they exposed you to so much harm, both monetary
and reputational. I told you that even if you won some claim
or other, that, if I won any of the fraud, breach of contract,
or violation of the Virginia consumer protection act, it would
devastate your ability to be in the car business, because I
had said I would publish the (public) jury's findings on every
Internet forum available to me. You laughed me off and said
you had already spent too much in legal fees to drop the case.
That was not a sound course of action. Not only has your reputation
been irrevocably damaged, you must now pay me a great deal of
money. Pay the awards and get on with your life or don't pay
and continue this costly effort and risk more damages.
Mr. lane says "these guys fight hard" and he is
right. But, as the "highlander" tradition has it,
"there can only be one" and I have "taken his
head". This is all over but the shouting. I have no
further interest and little involvement. This is cleanup. There
is no battle any more. I have won, but, more importantly, our
little community online has re-won the right we have always
speak our minds freely and without fear of reprisal from those
whose work or products are shoddy.
of the verdict
of the verdict
of the verdict