A 25 yo former Marine named Brett Smit is alleging that a Harley-Davidson dealership in Irvine, California took advantage of his PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to sell him with a brand new motorcycle. In a first case ever of this nature, on October 30th the Marine has filed a lawsuit against the dealership. Smith claims that he entered the dealership in early April and purchased the $17,000 bike. According to court documents his family attempted to return the bike two days later claiming the man had purchased it after being awake for five continuous days due to insomnia and wasn’t thinking straight.
Smith’s attorney, Daniel states that the former Marine was a member of the Special Forces and was deployed to Afghanistan. He was discharged from the service in 2010 due to his PTSD diagnosis and traumatic brain injury. “That day is very much a dream-like recollection to him,” said Gilleon. “He wasn’t completely aware of what he was doing. At one point, the salesperson even gave him water so that he could take his Xanax. He took three while he was there.”
Smith, who is married, was unemployed at the time and according to court documents entered the dealership on a whim. After pacing, acting “jittery”, and sweating profusely, he allegedly told employees he had PTSD and planned to ride the bike from the West Coast dealership straight through to Georgia. Additionally, Smith claims he told the dealership that he did not have a motorcycle license. He rode away from the dealership with his new Harley-Davidson…
Court documents state that Smith opted to ride to Georgia starting the next day and rode home after leaving the dealership. He evidently stuffed his backpack full of clothes, fruit, and a PlayStation before riding 40 miles and realizing that he didn’t have any money with him at which point he returned home. He checked into a hospital later under a 10-day psychiatric hold and opted to sue the dealership for unfair business practices since they refused to take the Harley back.
Smith attorney claims that the dealership and Motor Company “just blew it off”. “Harley-Davidson touts itself as an all-American, patriotic company, but patriotic is as patriotic does,” said Gilleon. “They exploited his mental condition because they were trying to make a sale. They got one but they also got a lawsuit in addition to that.” Or is it buyer remorse? The dealership has declined to comment. (photography @ abc news)