Did aliens attack my car, fiddle with the oil pan plug and cause the oil to start gushing out this winter? That appears to be the working theory of the legal minds representing Matt Rowswell, owner of the Mr. Lube that botched my oil change in January, leading to a $600 repair bill.
As you can read in earlier postings, I sued Matt – known in legal documents as Donald – for the cost of the repair, a refund of the original oil change, the cost of the rental car I needed while my car was out of commission and legal costs. When he failed to respond by the court-imposed deadline, a judge ruled in my favour and awarded me $932.46 – everything but the cost of the rental car.
That’s when Matt/Donald and his paralegal sidekick Ronald Trachy of St. Thomas swung into action. First they asked the court for a mulligan. Blaming his employees and the general chaos within his Mr. Lube empire, he said he needed more time to craft a defence. That hearing, originally scheduled for June 20, took place July 4 and granted him the right to file a defence.
Having missed his original opportunity to file a defence, Matt/Donald has taken full advantage this time, blaming everyone except O.J. Simpson for his technician’s original error.
The most creative – and frankly alarming to the general public – theory is that, “there was tampering of the oil pan drain plug by a person or persons unknown.”
That’s right. A roving band of thugs targeted my vehicle sometime this winter and tampered with the oil pan plug. They didn’t pull it right out; they just jiggled it enough to cause a leak over the following days and weeks. Could this be the work of rival Jiffy Lube? Did they hire some out-of-work mechanics to follow Mr. Lube customers and tamper with their oil pan plugs?
Or could it have been aliens, seeking to understand earth’s internal combustion technology, who inadvertently replaced the oil pan plug incorrectly? You can’t blame an alien for not understanding the finer points of inserting a Volkswagen oil pan plug. One of Matt/Donald’s own employees told me this spring how difficult that is.
In his defence, Matt/Donald promises to produce evidence that an incorrectly inserted oil pan plug will begin leaking within four days. Yes, the defence is: When we have botched this procedure in the past, the leak has started much sooner. Since we didn’t botch it as badly this time and it took longer for the oil to start leaking, well, it must have been aliens.
I don’t know a lot about Ronald Trachy, the Clarence Darrow behind this entertaining defence. But I have to assume he owns a thesaurus. In his long list of claims, he refers to my rental car claim as “unecessary, frivolous, vexatious and erroneous.” In addition to misspelling unnecessary, he seems to be doing his best impression of Kramer’s lawyer, Jackie Chiles.
I have no idea if Jackie Chiles could spell or construct proper written sentences. That talent has eluded Mr. Trachy, whose carefully crafted defence is full of errors.
Now I wait for the court to set a date for a settlement conference. That is supposed to take place within 90 days, at which time I can ask Matt/Donald or Ronald Trachy what they know about the aliens who attacked my car. I hope they have photos.