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Judge Upholds U.S. Automobile Dealers In Fraud And Conspiracy Lawsuit Against Indian Truck Manufacturer Mahindra

Judge Upholds U.S. Automobile Dealers In Fraud And Conspiracy Lawsuit Against
                      Indian Truck Manufacturer Mahindra

  PR Newswire

  ATLANTA, March 7, 2013

ATLANTA, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal judge has upheld a lawsuit by
U.S. automobile dealers accusing Indian truck manufacturer Mahindra &
Mahindra, Ltd. and its U.S. counterpart of fraud, misrepresentation, and
conspiracy. The lawsuit alleges that Mahindra duped hundreds of U.S. auto
dealers and walked away with more than $60 million in cash and trade secrets,
according to attorney Michael Diaz, Jr., global managing partner of
Miami-based Diaz Reus & Targ, the law firm that represented the U.S.
automobile dealers.

"We look forward to the next phase of this litigation and bringing justice to
hundreds of U.S. auto dealers across the country who were victimized by
Mahindra's fraudulent business practices," said Diaz, who leads the
plaintiffs' legal team of Gary Davidson, Brant Hadaway, Carlos Gonzalez and
Ahmand Johnson.

In his ruling yesterday, U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash in Atlanta ruled
against Mahindra's motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' lawsuit, allowing the
dealers' case to move forward. No date has been set for further court action.

"In a commercial fraud and conspiracy case, the plaintiff has to allege very
specific conduct by the defendant," said Hadaway. "In finding that our
clients' allegations against Mahindra are legally sufficient to continue the
lawsuit, Judge Thrash has vindicated our clients' decision to seek
compensation for their losses."

The mass tort lawsuit was filed in June, 2012 (#KH199170-3) against Mahindra &
Mahindra, Ltd, and Mahindra USA, Inc. by dealerships in New Hampshire,
Florida, California, New Jersey, and Washington. Dealers across the country
paid initial dealership fees, undertook marketing on Mahindra's behalf, built
Mahindra showrooms, display platforms and showcases, and hired additional
personnel – all at Mahindra's urging according to the lawsuit. Mahindra then
began laying the groundwork to enter the U.S. market and build a nationwide
dealer network in 2004.

In a high-profile move to court the U.S. dealers, Arun Jaura, a senior
Mahindra executive, attended an Atlanta automotive show in 2007 where he
repeatedly proclaimed, "I love America!" At that show, which was attended by
about 400 U.S. dealers, Mahindra executives presented promotional videos that
showcased its vehicles' durability, purportedly showing them being driven on
different terrains. Jaura also provided a set time-line for introducing
Mahindra's four-door truck to the U.S. market at the end of 2008, and
Mahindra's two-door truck and SUV in the third quarter of 2009.

Mahindra's pitch was highly successful. Ultimately, it obtained $8.5 million
in fees from the dealers, according to the lawsuit. Through a barrage of press
releases, sales pitches, advertisements, and news articles orchestrated by
Mahindra, Jaura's comments were subsequently used to entice more U.S. dealers
to agree to carry Mahindra's vehicles. Over the next two years, Mahindra
continued to reassure the U.S. dealers that its certification process was on
target, while in fact it was delaying submitting its documentation to
regulators as a pretext for terminating its agreements. "Mahindra repeatedly
failed to live up to its obligations," Diaz added. "Now, we will continue to
aggressively seek justice for our clients."

About Diaz Reus

Diaz Reus represents dealmakers around the world with a focus on emerging
markets. With experienced lawyers in the U.S., Latin America, Asia, Europe,
and the Middle East, the firm is uniquely suited to handle a wide range of
complex commercial, business, and financial transactions across international
borders. Diaz Reus lawyers have experience in government relations, trade,
compliance, customs, tax, and immigration matters, as well as internal and
government investigations, complex litigation, and arbitration matters. Diaz
Reus operates offices in Miami, Florida; Caracas, Venezuela; Shanghai, China;
Dubai, U.A.E.; Iraq; Frankfurt, Germany; Bogota, Colombia;Panama City,
Republic of Panama; Mexico City, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago,
Chile; and an affiliate office in Sao Paulo, Brazil. For more information,
visit www.diazreus.com or http://www.jdsupra.com/profile/diazreus .

For the law firm, Michael Diaz, mdiaz@diazrues.com , +1-305-375-9220

Website: http://www.diazreus.com
Contact: Bay Proby, Proby & Associates, +1-305-613-4668, by@probypr.com
 
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