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DealMaker appeals $3.6 million judgment against closed Potsdam, Watertown locations

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POTSDAM - Entities of DealMaker Auto Group have appealed a $3.6 million judgment against it awarded March 29 in federal court on behalf of a company that provided floor-plan financing to the dealerships.

V.M. Paolozzi Imports Inc. and DealMaker of Potsdam LLC, as well as DealMaker principal P.J. Simao, filed an appeal Thursday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit of the earlier decision made by U.S. District Court Judge Glenn T. Suddaby.

Judge Suddaby has ruled that DealMaker did not perform under the terms of finance agreement it had with Honda Financing Corp., Torrance, Calif., which claimed in a 2010 action that the dealerships were in violation of their wholesale finance, or floor-plan, agreements by failing make full payments on term loans made to both businesses. DealMaker countered with a $14 million alleging Honda Finance breached its contract with the Watertown company and acted in bad faith in its dealings related to the contracts.

Judge Suddaby granted summary judgment in favor of Honda Finance, entering $2.1 million judgments against V.M. Paolozzi, which did business as DealMaker Honda of Watertown, and $1.5 million against DealMaker of Potsdam, which did business as DealMaker Honda of Potsdam, and dismissing DealMaker’s counterclaim.

DealMaker is appealing each part of the judgment, including the dismissal of its counterclaim.

DealMaker also has ongoing litigation in federal court with an affiliate of Honda Finance, American Honda Motors Inc., with the primary issue being the removal of Honda’s trademarks from the closed locations in Potsdam and Watertown, most of which has been removed. DealMaker has filed a $48 million counterclaim in that action alleging, among other items, Honda Motors’s collusion with Honda Financing in terminating its dealerships agreements.

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