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503-378-6002 or Jeff.D.Manning@doj.state.or.us
About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General Hardy Myers today filed a lawsuit against a Lincoln County furniture manufacturer and retailer, who allegedly took money for specialty timber products from tourists visiting the Oregon Coast and failed to deliver the products. Named in the suit filed in Lincoln County Circuit Court in Newport is John Lovell, also known as Jean Lovell, who does business in Oregon as Forest Forms, Forest Forms Rustic Furnishings, Lovell's and Woods Goods. The defendant currently lives in or around the Otis area.
"Oregonians and tourists from all over the world visit Oregon's coast enjoying its beauty and buying souvenirs that depict the uniqueness of the area such as log furniture," Myers said. "Not only were consumers paying for something they never received but the defendant refused to communicate with them or provide refunds, leaving travelers with a bad Oregon experience."
The Oregon Department of Justice investigated the allegations of 33 customers, who stopped at the various shops and random roadside spots used by Lovell and looked at his displays of "artistic" wood furniture and other specialty wood products. Interested buyers weren't allowed to purchase products on display but were asked instead to place orders requiring large down payments. In many cases, customers paid for the total value of the merchandise upfront and never received the goods. As far as Justice can tell, most of the ordered goods have never been manufactured. Lovell also took orders over the Internet and never delivered the wood specialty items. Many of the victims have filed private actions against Lovell in the Lincoln County small claims court and approximately 10 have secured default judgments against the defendant.
Although the defendant was given the opportunity to sign an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, he failed to reach an acceptable agreement with Justice officials, resulting in the filing of today's lawsuit.
The lawsuit asks the court for a permanent injunction against Lovell, prohibiting him from selling directly to the public or through any business connected to his family and from advertising and selling on the Internet. The complaint also asks the courts to require Lovell to pay restitution to numerous victims, who have not obtained default judgments nor received any product or refunds. Justice also asked for up to $25,000 in civil penalties for each violation of the Unlawful Trade Practices Act and reasonable attorney fees.
Consumers wanting more information about consumer protection in Oregon may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
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