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DEALER RECEIVES $7,500,001 GM SETTLEMENT

 DEALER RECEIVES $7,500,001 GM SETTLEMENT
 /ADVANCE/CLEVELAND, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Cleveland attorneys


Nicholas M. DeVito and Stanley Morganstern, specialists in auto dealer litigation, confirmed that General Motors Corporation today paid $7,500,001 in settlement of a lawsuit filed by Daniel W. Nester, Naples, Fla. The money comes as part of a settlement to a case Nester initiated 10 years ago, seeking damages because GM had literally forced his dealership out of business.
 The case was originally filed July 9, 1982, and the initial trial was before Judge Robert B. Ford in Lake County, Ohio. On Sept. 19, 1989 a unanimous jury returned a verdict for Nester against General Motors for $5.3 million. Under the Ohio Dealer Act, this was doubled by Judge Ford to $10.6 million. This was the largest verdict and judgment of its kind in Ohio, and the settlement paid by General Motors today is believed to be the largest ever paid by an auto manufacturer to a dealer.
 The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District in Warren, Ohio affirmed that General Motors' liability for failing to deal in good faith with Nester. The court found that General Motors had discriminated in the allocation of cars to Evans Chevrolet, causing the dealership to go out of business. The appellate court, however, ordered a retrial on the issue of damages and attorneys' fees. The day before the case was scheduled to be retried, General Motors, facing a potential $20 million judgment, agreed to the settlement.
 This car manufacturer/car dealer story is not unique, Nester noted, but it is the first time a dealer has had the stamina to pursue his rights through the courts. The case had its start in 1954 when Evans Chevrolet went into business in Lake County. The dealership prospered until 1979 when Classic Chevrolet opened in Mentor just 4 miles away.
 "This was not just another dealer," Nester pointed out. "Classic was a 'factory store,' largely owned by General Motors at the time." In '79, the gas shortage and a doubling of gas prices created huge demand for fuel efficient cars. For Chevrolet, this meant Monzas and Chevettes and Citations were the hot sellers. Nester's established dealership, according to court documents, received a fraction of these cars that GM allocated to Classic. "Chevrolet distribution to our customers took longer," Nester said, "in comparison to Classic's, further limiting Evans' ability to compete.
 "A dealer without cars isn't a dealer," Nester said, and the court accepted the argument that this "starvation" led to his dealership's demise.
 A key factor in forging the settlement was the expected testimony of Nester's expert witness, Professor John P. Matthews, chairman of the Department of Quantitative Analysis at the University of Wisconsin.
 DeVito and Morganstern represented Nester during the 10-year legal fight, while Matthews provided critical statistical support. "I can't say enough for our legal team," Nester said. "They did a brilliant job of preparing the case, sifting through boxcars of documents and keeping at it over the decade of litigation. They took on the world's largest corporation and the country's second largest law firm (Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue) -- and won."
 Describing the 10-year ordeal, Nester said, "The money's important, but I did this to prove the demise of my dealership was the result of GM's actions. The longer GM dragged out the case, the more determined I was to win."
 Nester went on to explain, "Historically, manufacturers have had all the advantages over their dealers. They control the distribution. They have all the records. They do all the surveys. They make all the rules. Dealers follow them, no matter how unfair. I think this case begins to level the playing field for dealers and manufacturers."
 Nester and his legal counsel and expert witness -- DeVito, Morganstern and Matthews -- have compiled a substantial amount of expertise in the arcane field of dealer/manufacturer relationships. Nester indicated that he was interested in making it available to dealers in order to "keep the playing field level" for dealers in their relationships with automobile manufacturers.
 -0- 11/16/92
 /CONTACT: Nicholas M. DeVito, Nicholas M. DeVito & Associates, 216-687-1212; Stanley Morganstern, Morganstern & MacAdams Co. LPA, 216-621-4244; or Dan Nester, 813-775-7777/ CO: Nicholas M. DeVito & Associates; Morganstern & MacAdams Co. LPA ST: Ohio IN: AUT SU:


BM -- CL001 -- 0993 11/14/92 10:00 EST
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Date:Nov 14, 1992
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