By Andrey Burin | Jul 10, 2015

NEW ORLEANS – A man who entered a charitable raffle for a car is accusing an auto dealership of failing to follow the rules of the raffle and refusing him the car after his was allegedly the winning ticket.

David Lee Cothran filed suit against Shield His Heart, Inc., Premier Automotive, L.L.C., William Lewis and Zandrea Johnson in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on May 19, 2015.

On Jan. 25, 2015, Shield His Heart, a non-profit organization, decided to partner with Premier Automotive (Toyota of New Orleans) to raffle a 2015 Toyota Camry LE for the benefit of Detective Keenan Shields who received a heart transplant after his fourth heart attack. According to the lawsuit, the raffle was scheduled May 2. Rules stated that the winner need not be present to win and that the number of raffle tickets would be limited to 1,000 at a cost of each $100. 

Zandrea Johnson allegedly acted as an agent of the foundation and sold raffle tickets to multiple individuals including the plaintiff. According to Cothran, during a text message conversation on April 27, the defendant advised the plaintiff that he needed to pay for his ticket. He sent a Walmart MoneyGram in the amount of $100 and was thanked for supporting the #shieldhisheart foundation in a text message. The photo of the ticket that Johnson texted to plaintiff was allegedly marked as paid. Cothran claims he was in Las Vegas on May 2 when told that his raffle ticket had been pulled and he was the winner of the new car.

Cothran contends he made arrangements to fly from Houston to New Orleans to take possession of the vehicle on May 5 and was advised that because he did not have the ticket stub he would not be able to take possession. Cothran alleges he made several unfruitful attempts to explain hat he had purchased the ticket from defendant but never received the stub in the mail.

The plaintiff is suing for canceled travel expenses and the value of the vehicle at the time of the breach, suing for damages in the amount of $40,000.

The plaintiff is represented by New Orleans-based attorney Keenan J. Dunlap.

This case has been assigned to Division G Judge Robin M. Giarusso.

Case No. 2015-04696.

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