Better Call Behnken: Auto mechanic loses in court, still hasn’t paid judgement 7 months later

(WFLA) – Jerry Brunson sued his auto mechanic and won. But seven months later, he has still not seen a dime of the judgment he was awarded in court.

“I felt vindicated,” Brunson said of the day he received the judge’s order. “I felt like, ‘Okay, I’m going to get some justice now.’ But sometimes, the paper doesn’t mean much because it’s not enforced.”

Brunson took his 2005 Passat to Auto Works of Tampa for an oil leak. That was in April. He said he paid thousands of dollars, through his insurance company, but the car was not fixed when he picked it up five days later.

“Everything was the exact same,” Bruson said. “The same exact leaks, the exact smell. Everything was the exact same, so he didn’t do anything to it at all.”

When the shop wouldn’t fix the car without more money, he sued. A judge agreed with him, writing the “vehicle was not fully repaired.”

Auto Works was ordered to pay $1,330 in damages and an additional $350 for court costs.

Brunson said the shop owner told him he would “pay when he paid.” Meanwhile, Brunson still can’t fix his car until he gets the money.

So, Brunson knew he’d Better Call Behnken.

We found shop owner Bob Noriega and he seemed surprised that Brunson was so frustrated. When asked why he had not paid in the past seven months, he responded, “Oh, just life.”

He did, however, vow to pay Brunson’s money to the court by the end of the business day.

Noriega said his shop did fix the car but discovered other problems after Brunson picked up the car. He acknowledged, though, that he lost the court case and owed the money.

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