28 February 2008 – Click here to read: Olympic Recovery letter
John Kayia, Olympic Recovery, sent me a letter addressed “To whom it may concern” confirming that he had been asked to write a report by Mondial and that my vehicle had been started and driven into the car-park at M-B Chelsea’s workshop. I forwarded this letter to Stuart Buckle, Legal Executive at M B UK Head Office.
I received a letter from Stuart Buckle stating: “… your decision to cease settlement negotiations at mediation in October 2006 at a point where negotiations were almost successfully concluded.”
My recollection of events at Mediation is that MB, after hours of prevarication, refused to continue. I have already proved that Stuart Buckle’s actions show him not to be a creditable witness.
5 March 2008 – Click here to read: MB reply
I sent an e-mail to Stuart Buckle asking him to confirm that he had received the copy of the statement of John Kayia, Olympic Recovery, which I had previously sent him on 28 February. Stuart Buckle replied: “We do not have the apparent report” and “Olympic Recovery are a separate company to DaimlerChryser Retail Ltd (M-B)”.
This letter also stated “… your vehicle was delivered to Mercedes-Benz Chelsea in an already broken down non start condition, where it was pushed into the workshop where further examination found major damage to the electrical systems.” The lie repeated yet again when I have already proved that Stuart Buckle did know by Mediation on 20 October 2006, if not before that, that my car had been driven into M B Chelsea’s’ workshop’s car-park. This was a continuing attempt to defraud me. Why was he still persisting in repeating a lie when he had had the opportunity to investigate the matter and ascertain the truth?
I received an Order from Bow County Court setting out the details of the Disclosure documentation required and the serving of witness statements.
M-B’s document stated that, basically, they had searched everywhere for any documents relating to this legal dispute. M-B yet again did not disclose the two reports from Olympic Recovery which they had. Had these two reports been disclosed there would have been no trial at the County Court. This was further Conspiracy to Pervert the Court of Justice.
19 May 2008
I instructed new solicitors, David Head, partner in Duncan Lewis and Co.
19 May 2009
M-B’s Legal Department sent me its List of Documents: Standard Disclosure. The two reports from Olympic Recovery were not on the list. Why not?
11 June 2008 – Click here to read: Witness Statement Mr Turner
The Witness Statement of Sidney Turner, Receptionist, M B Chelsea’s workshop, stated:
16: “Upon examining the vehicle, the workshop technicians informed me there was a lot of damage to the electrical system which appears to have been caused by an incorrect jump start …”.
This is one of the few statement made by M B which is actually true. But no date has been given of when or who informed Sidney Turner of the damage to the vehicle and, more importantly, there is no witness statement from the Technician who discovered the damage to the vehicle.
30 June 2008 – Click here to read: Witness statement Mr Buhagiar
The Witness Statement of Martin Buhagiar, After-sales Manager, M B Chelsea’s Workshop, (now promoted to General Manager M B, Epsom) stated at:
7: Martin Buhagiar confirmed M B’s vicarious liability;
8: “It was following a breakdown recovery on 30 November 2005 that Mr Carlyle raised a complaint regarding the cost of the repair to his vehicle”.
Martin Buhagiar fails to mention that it was not until 9 January 2006 that I was informed that I was expected to pay for these repairs and gives no reason why I was not informed until, allegedly, £6,640 had been spent on a vehicle that was within its warranty period.
8 July 2008 – Click here to read: Witness statement by Mrs Bond
The Witness statement of Mrs Jean Bond, my sister, stated at:
6. I gave the mechanic the key and told him where the car was but I also said that I did not think his pick-up would fit down Long Yard.
8. Quite soon after the bell rang. I went to the front door and saw the mechanic sitting in my brother’s car with the driver’s window down, engine running and he said that all that was needed was a “start”.
9 July 2008 – Click here to read: MB documents
M-B sent its pre-trial documents and witness statements to my solicitor.
The Witness Statement from John Kayia, Olympic Recovery, stated:
“… the car started on its own battery and there was no need to jump start it”.
This witness statement confirms my Sister’s Witness Statement. John Kayia was a witness for me, not Mercedes-Benz.
6 August 2008 – Click here to read: Solictors letter
My solicitor wrote to me informing me of that day’s Case Management Conference at Bow County Court and said that an independent Join Expert Report on my vehicle was required and gave possible trial dates.
27 August 2008
The Court-ordered Joint Expert Report was undertaken.
1 September 2008 – Click here to read: solicitors letter
My solicitor sent a letter to M B regarding the Joint Expert’s Report which stated that the damage had been caused by: “… the power surge at incorrect polarity” and that as the recovery company’s agent had been acting as M B’s contractor, M B would be liable under the Vicarious Liability laws and that M B therefore was ultimately liable for any damage caused whilst my car was in their care.
2 September 2008 – Click here to read: AJ Allen letter
In their reply to my solicitor’s letter of 1 September M B stated that: “Mercedes-Benz Chelsea simply took receipt of your client’s vehicle in an already damaged non functioning condition”. They would have known at this stage that this statement was a lie. Despite Vicarious Liability laws they claimed that, as Olympic Recovery had been the agent of Mondial Ltd, ignoring the fact that Mondial Ltd was the agent of M-B UK, and denied any liability any damage caused to my car.
3 September 2008 – Click here to read: Solicitors letter to MB
My solicitor made an offer to settle this dispute with M B. He also asked if a confidentiality clause had been attached to M-B’s previous offers to settle.
He also stated that I was willing to accept £27,000 for the car or the difference between the price the car would sell for at auction and £27,000, as well as my legal costs to date.
5 September 2008 – Click here to read: MB letter
M-B replied to my solicitor’s letters of the 2 and 3 September reiterating M B’s previous position that “the vehicle was delivered to Mercedes-Benz Chelsea in an already broken down/non start condition”. Yet another repeat of a known lie.
My Counsel’s Opinion was that:
“The Defendant (M B) will have owed the Claimant (Robert Carlyle) a duty of care when performing that contractual duty (i.e. in collecting and repairing the vehicle). If jump leads were incorrectly applied to the vehicle there would have been a breach of that duty.
In my opinion the 2nd Defendant (M-B) cannot escape liability for that breach
simply by arguing that it had chosen to delegate its responsibility to a third party.
It had taken two years of repeated visits to the Court and a mediation meeting before the case came to trial at Bromley County Court on 10 November 2008, by which time my legal costs had reached over £30,000.
Even at this stage M B was writing to my solicitor to enquire whether I still contended that the damage to my vehicle occurred after the vehicle had been delivered to M B Chelsea’s workshop rather than when with the recovery agents.
My solicitor replied to M-B’s letter of 28 October 2006 saying: “… we confirm that it is our case that your client (M B) is liable regardless of whether or not it was the recovery agent or the Mercedes-Benz garage that was responsible for the damage”.
My solicitor requested a further document, which was, as was M B’s common practice, not provided.
10 November 2008 – Click here to read: Judgement of the Court
Martin Buhagiar said during his sworn evidence at the trial: “We don’t jump start.” and “We don’t take the risk.” This was in contradiction of Stuart Buckle’s letter of 20 September 2007 to me in which Stuart Buckle had written: “You may be interested to learn that MB Chelsea use jump start equipment recommended by Mercedes Benz …”. The practice in M B Chelsea’s workshop would have been no different to the practice used in all M B’s other workshops. Therefore Martin Bahagiar committed perjury when he contradicted this statement under oath in court. (Page 38 of the morning trial transcript)
For some unknown reason neither of Olympic Recovery’s reports had been included in the pre-trial documentation as they should have been. It was only after M-B had heard the verbal evidence before the Court from witnesses that M B finally admitted to the court that I was, in fact, not responsible for the damage to my vehicle. This statement was made after the evidence had been heard and M B’s maintaining over the previous three years that I or somebody known to me had caused the damage. (Page 33 of the afternoon’s transcript)
HH District Judge Hallon said:
“IT IS DECLARED THAT the sum of £6,640 is not due from the Claimant to the second Defendant as a result of the Judgement.”
She also said in court:
“Right. There we are. Presumably some arrangements now have to be made as to the repair of the bodywork and the actual release of the vehicle?”
If only she had been more specific, so much more time and money of both parties would have been saved and M B would not have been able to follow a path of vindictive maliciousness towards me causing me considerable stress over the last six years. But it probably never occurred to her that a ‘reputable’ company like M B would not be honourable and redress its unlawful behaviour towards me.
So was my car fully repaired, given an MOT and a warranty, and were all my costs paid together with a sum to compensate for the stress and inconvenience caused to me because of their company’s appalling treatment of me?
Were members of staff who had consistently lied to me, conspired to pervert the course of justice and colluded to defraud me dismissed for bringing M B’s name into disrepute? Are you surprised to hear that the answer is No?
One would have thought, given M B’s commitment to “Champion the highest quality customer service” and its admission to the Court that I was NOT responsible for the catastrophic damage to my car’s electrical system, that M B would have tried to make amends for their action, but no, far from it. Its behaviour in fact turned out to be quite the opposite and its junior staff continued to be able to hound me quite unjustifiably with the apparent complicity of senior management.
25 November 2008
I attended M B Chelsea’s workshop to discuss the “repair of the bodywork and the actual release of the vehicle” as per the Judge’s remarks.
While I was there, and they believed unseen by me, Mercedes-Benz’s interpretation of the Judge’s remarks was to dump my car on the public highway outside its premises in Wandsworth without the car having an MOT, Road Fund Licence or Insurance, which was an illegal act.
27 November 2008 – Click here to read: Solicitors letter to MB
I wrote to Dr Wilfried Steffen, President and CEO, Mercedes Benz UK.
27 November 2008
My solicitor had to write to M B requesting an MOT and my wish to have an inspection of my vehicle. I also wanted to inspect my vehicle and was refused to opportunity to do so.
1 December 2008 – Click here to read supporting document
M B’s reply stated: “Your client was not prevented from accessing his vehicle only from entering the workshop which is standard practice”, which is somewhat confusing as my car initially was parked in the car-park. I never asked to go into the workshop.
M-B also stated that M B was “is not obliged to provide the vehicle with an MOT. This statement is true. However it was not an unreasonable request given the circumstances and I was prepared to pay the MOT charge.
5 December 2008 – Click here to read supporting document
In reply to my letter of 27 November 2008 to Dr Wilfried Steffen, I received a personally signed letter stating that the letter’s contents had been noted and asking that I direct all future correspondence to his Legal Department”.
8 December 2008
The Judgement of the Court was issued.
17 December 2008
I wrote to Dermot Kelly, Managing Director, M-B Retail UK, asking him to take control of this matter and address the outstanding issues.
22 December 2008
In person I booked an appointment for an MOT, at my cost, at M B Chelsea’s workshop but on the day the MOT was due to take place M-B refused to carry out an MOT. Without a current MOT on the car I would not be able to secure insurance and a Road Fund Licence.
23 December 2008 – Click here to read supporting document
I received a reply from Dermot Kelly, saying: “There is nothing further that I can add to the letter already sent to you by Mr Steffen dated 5 December”.