Court dismisses suit seeking $3 million from Penske regarding rental truck's seizure

By Takesha Thomas | Dec 3, 2018

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana recently dismissed a lawsuit seeking $3 million filed a man who allegedly lost items following the seizure of a truck he was renting from Penske.

In the Nov. 20 filing, U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance granted Penske's motion to dismiss in reference to a claim filed by Thomas D'Aquin. The court filing said because a suit by D'Aquin had already been adjudicated, D'Aquin could not file an additional suit. 

According to the court filing, D'Aquin had filed a complaint in April 2016 against Penske along with 21 others "based on the same interaction as the complaint in this case, in which police seized a rental truck and brought it to Penske, and placed Penske in a situation being responsible for anything missing.” Attorneys for Penske arguing that that suit barred D'Aquin from filing any additional suits against them since the case was dismissed due failure to state a claim.

The latest filing said that while D'Aquin alleges that “Penske had (the) truck confiscated and contents held at Penske facility” and that that they “forbade him to retrieve” the goods in the truck, these allegations do not indicate that defendants acted under color of state law." 

In May, Penske filed the motion to dismiss for "lack of federal jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, and failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure". 

In March, D’Aquin filed the latest suit against Penske, Brian Hard, Roger Penske Sr., Marc Athern, Dennis Abruzi, Jeffery Bullard, Ken Coots and Jonathan Foley, who are current and former executives of Penske, according to court filings. 

D'Aquin had rented a truck from Penske. However, according to court documents, he "kept it beyond its return date." Penske retrieved the truck and D'Aquin alleged that the seizure was illegal and the company failed to take inventory of the items contained within the truck. D'Aquin argued that Penske then "confiscated the property illegally in violation of his Fourth Amendment and due process rights." 

According to D'Aquin the truck at the time of seizure contained "$23,000 in cash, a printer, a cabinet, pictures, a racquet stringer, tennis racquets, two watches and all of plaintiff and his spouse’s clothing." He sued for $3 million. 

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