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In December 2015, Sacramento & Elk Grove-based John M. O'Brien & Associates settled a case against a well-known national lube, oil and filter franchise for elder abuse and negligence. Our client was a 93-year-old World War II Navy veteran and took his car to the Quick Lube for an oil change. While he was there, the salesman at the franchise “upsold” our client a brake flush. However, instead of performing a full brake flush as promised, the franchise simply performed a “suck and go,” which means the fluid was not completely bled from the system, it was merely drained from the main reservoir and replaced. Unfortunately, this introduced air into the brake lines. Within a few days after leaving the franchise, our client’s brakes failed, and he ran into a stopped car at 40 mph. He fractured his sternum and two vertebrae in his low back. He suffered horribly for the next two months and eventually succumbed to his injuries. We filed a lawsuit against the quick lube franchise alleging wrongful death and financial elder abuse.
During discovery, we hired an investigator to secretly videotape the employees of the franchise performing similar services in a negligent and shoddy manner. Employees were caught on tape doing the same fraudulent service to the investigator’s vehicle. When this evidence came to light, the case was settled for a confidential sum.