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Williamson v. Fowler Toyota, Inc.
Oklahoma Supreme Court
956 P.2d 858 (1998)
Robert Gilmore bought a car from Fowler Toyota, Inc. (Fowler) (defendant) on credit. Gilmore granted Fowler a security interest. Gilmore donated the car to Camp Hudgens and stopped making payments. Gilmore died. Camp Hudgens, unaware of the lien, took the car to Williamson Auto for sale. Fowler hired an independent contractor named Clint McGregor to repossess Gilmore’s car. McGregor went to the lot after hours, cut the chain with bolt cutters, and entered the property. McGregor pushed the car out of the lot and towed it to Fowler, who took the car and instructed McGregor not to trespass. Williamson discovered the trespass the next morning and called police, who told him about the repossession. Fowler later sold the car and continued using McGregor for its repossessions. Williamson sued, and a jury awarded actual damages of $45 and punitive damages of $15,000. The verdict was reversed by the Court of Civil Appeals, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wilson, J.)
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