A plumbing company in the US state of Texas has sued a Ford dealership here for over $1 million after Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists were seen using his old truck, thousands of kilometres away in str
A plumbing company in the US state of Texas has sued a Ford dealership here for over $1 million after Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists were seen using his old truck, thousands of kilometres away in strife-torn Syria.
Mark Oberholtzer, owner of Mark-1 Plumbing in Texas City has filed a lawsuit against AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway, the Houston dealership where he traded in the truck.
According to the complaint filed last week, AutoNation misrepresented its intentions to remove the decal, causing Mr Oberholtzer, his business and his family “severe harm”.
“By the end of the day, Mark-1’s office, Mark-1’s business phone, and Mark’s personal cell had received over 1,000 phone calls from around the nation,” Mr Oberholzer’s lawyer wrote in the lawsuit, filed December 9 in Harris County.
A photo of the black Ford F-250 truck, with his Mark-1 Plumbing decals still attached, went viral, leading to thousands of harassing phone calls.
The photo showed a black-cloaked figure and an antiaircraft gun. The truck was being used by Jaish al- Muhajireen wal-Ansar (the “Muhajireen Brigade”), an extremist group fighting the Syrian government.
Mr Oberholtzer said this would not have happened if the firm had just removed the decals before the truck was resold.
In October 2013, Mr Oberholtzer took the truck to AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway in Houston for a trade-in. He got a 2012 Ford F-250 and said goodbye to his old truck, according to the lawsuit.
He started to peel off the company’s decals from the truck’s doors but a salesman stopped him. The man told Mr Oberholtzer that peeling off the decal would damage the paint on the truck.