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Michigan Towing Company Sues University Student Over Facebook Page

Apr 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: Headline News

A Michigan towing company announced last week that it was filing a lawsuit against a Western Michigan University student, and alleging the student was spreading libelous and slanderous claims, according to a news report.

President Joseph Bird of T & J Towing, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, is seeking $750,000 in damages and requesting a court order that Justin Kurtz, 21, “immediately cease and desist any further libelous and slanderous written claims” about the towing company, the report states.

Kurtz began a Facebook group on the internet in February called “Kalamazoo Residents against T & J Towing” after he claimed his car was towed from his apartment complex illegally. The group now has 4,200 members and growing.

Kurtz, an aviation student from Yorkville, N.Y., claims his Saturn SL2 was towed from a parking spot at The Arboretum apartment complex where he lives west of WMU campus. He claims his car was legally parked and that he had his complex-issued parking sticker displayed, but the sticker was missing and the front end of his car was damaged when he reclaimed the vehicle from T & J for a $118 fee, according to the report.

Kurtz says on his Facebook group that he believes his car was broken into and his parking sticker removed so his car, which was locked and guarded by an alarm, could be towed. He claims the battery was disconnected to disable the car alarm and the parking sticker was scraped off the windshield, according to the report.

The two-page complaint filed by T & J Towing on April 5 in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court alleges Kurtz is using the Facebook group in a “crusade” to post claims that are “untrue and/or dishonest and without merit,” and that the company has lost business as a result, the news report states.

Kurtz planned to speak with an attorney himself, but had no plans to remove the Facebook group, according to the report.