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A lawsuit alleging the former general manager of Coleman RV and Coleman Toyota in Baton Rouge, La., stole millions from the dealerships is proceeding, with lawyers for the Coleman family and Louis W. Bignar expected to argue “technical issues” in the case in February.
According to a report in The Advocate, the family sued Bignar in November, contending he looted millions from the businesses and that Bignar’s alleged activities created such large losses that the Coleman family was forced to sell its dealerships.
The family’s patriarch, Robert E. Coleman, Sr., who founded the dealerships, died in December last year.
Bignar’s attorney Brian Prendergast maintains in legal responses that the Colemans’ lawsuit contains major errors, outlined in court documents filed in the 19th Judicial District Court.
Judge Janice Clark will listen to both sides’ arguments on Feb. 14.
The Colemans have asked the court to force Bignar to detail what the dealerships received in exchange for more than $900,000 paid to two marketing companies controlled by Bignar. The Colemans’ lawsuit contends the dealerships received “little, if anything” for the money.
Prendergast said the lawsuit is vague and ambiguous because it alleges that money has been misappropriated, but fails to specify the amount Bignar allegedly took. He said he hopes the Coleman family will clear up some of the details at the hearing.
In the filing, Prendergast also said the Colemans’ request for records should be denied because the family hasn’t posted the required bond.
The bond is designed to cover costs and damages people or companies wrongfully incur in complying with court orders, Prendergast said in his filing.
The Colemans have subpoenaed information relating to Bignar’s bank accounts, said attorney Herschel Adcock Sr., who represents them. Adcock said the lawsuit is still in the early stages and the family is still trying to find out what exactly happened to its money.
Prendergast said his client will likely fight those demands, but hasn’t made a decision yet.