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Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by TEG, Feb 25, 2008.
ZAP to Take Daimler Smart Car Lawsuit to California Supreme Court: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
I'll have to look this one up with actual filings, but "tortious interference with one's buisiness" (which I assume is the claim) is somewhat of a difficult claim here. And from the way the article is written, it sounds more like a procedural fight over whether ZAP had the right to bring the suit in the first place.
Granted I don't know anything about the suit, but it sounds goofy for a number of reasons. One being this is the type of thing that usually goes straight to federal court per the defendant's choice because federal courts tend to be friendlier to defendants. Second, how the hell does ZAP have the kind of money to throw away for this type of litigation? Grasphing at straws.
I pulled the opinion posted online at:
The intro summed it up saying ZAP sued for "intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic relations among other causes of action. ZAP alleged that defendants interfered with ZAP’s prospective business relations with respect to ZAP’s efforts to become a United States distributor of fuel efficient cars, called “Smart Cars,” which were manufactured in Germany."
ZAP claims they spent "millions of dollars" to find a way to make the Smart Cars comply with CA safety and environmental regs. ZAP apparently wrote to Smart and told them they had a purchase order for 76,500 Smart Cars for a total amount of over $1billion. ZAP claimed to have over $2billion in confirmed orders [editors note--now we know ZAP is full of crAP]. On May 24, 2005, ZAP goes public with the order, yet Smart refused to recognize the order. ZAP made the release before it could supply Smart with the technological specs as requested by Smart before Smart would make any joint venture. ZAP turned it around and said they rejected a $1b purchase order from Smart. ZAP initiates the lawsuit, and here they sit.
The legal aspects are nothing but extremely boring jurisdicitional matters about suing Smart, a company that was essentially not doing any business in CA at the time of its interactions with ZAP. Therefore, ZAP should have found a forum in Germany, or in my opinion, tried federal court. In any event, if this is appealed (and it appears it will be), ZAP is going to look even more stupid because they will lose miserably. And let me also point out, that if I were Smart, I'd be tempted to counterclaim the crap out of ZAP--if it wouldn't waive jurisdiction. The shareholders should be screaming for blood IMO, this suit is baseless.
Thanks for the research, DDB. Fascinating and disgusting at the same time.
Did you all see the Wired article on ZAP this past month? They really reamed them...basically saying it's entirely a scam. Apparently many people have purchased territorial dealerships for as much as $150k on the promise of new models which never materialize, and believing inflated specs for the existant models. Meanwhile they keep issuing new stock shares and paying themselves huge salaries while the company loses money.
Also, more related to this thread, Wired suggested that the suit against Smart was a bogus PR scam...said they promised some of their would-be dealers the ability to sell the Smart, and when Daimler completely denied having any dealings or agreements with the company (which now seems accurate) Zap sued to save face.
I was dismayed to read all this. Not only does it seem to mean that Zap will never go anywhere (I like many were cautiously hopeful that they might make a real car someday) but more importantly it sows distrust in BEVs amongst the public.
Interesting podcast which includes an interview of Gary Starr of Zap! This responds somewhat to much of the bad press they have received in the past. The podcast is about 80 minutes long so it requires a bit of a commitment to listen to it. But I found it an interesting counterpoint to the Wired article.
EVCast: The Crap about Zap! - AutoblogGreen
Zap! runs out of juice in Kentucky - AutoblogGreen