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An Ocala, Fla., resident won his five-year-old dispute with Newmar Corp. over a motorhome bought in 1998.
According to a report in the Tallahasee Democrat, Joseph Grooms, 62, received an $86,000 jury award. Newmar had appealed an earlier decision rendered by an arbitrator under the state’s lemon law.
A representative for Nappanee, Ind.-based Newmar said the company hasn’t decided on an appeal regarding the jury award.
The RV owner may have received a boost to his case when, according to the paper, his toilet fell through the floor last October while in use.
“It started wobbling and leaking and just gave way,” said Grooms, who weighs 320 pounds.
Records show that Newmar’s attorneys argued that Grooms might have been too heavy for the toilet. Grooms’ attorney cited a lack of warning labels on the commode for stocky users.
The case originated when Grooms complained of a host of problems that cropped up soon after he bought the Dutch Star motorhome. He brought it back to Newmar, which tried fixing it even though a one-year warranty had expired.
“We care dearly about our customers,” said Steve Klotz, Newmar’s consumer-affairs manager. “We thought we corrected the issues, but Mr. Grooms respectfully disagreed.”
Grooms filed a complaint under the state’s lemon law, and an arbitrator ordered Newmar to buy back the $168,000 coach in 1999.
The company appealed, and the case wound up in Tallahassee because it involved a state resident and an out-of-state corporation.