Rolls-Royce has sued J&B Body Works to get back a Ghost that has been idled in the Mount Vernon repair shop for more than 430 days.
But J&B said not so fast in its response in a Sept. 6. court filing. Rolls-Royce must first pay $22,485 for repairs and storage fees.
“It would be unjust,” J&B Body Works argues, for Rolls-Royce to get the benefit of the garage’s services “without commensurate compensation.”
The Rolls’ round-about route to Mount Vernon dates back to February 2016, when Jean Nikenson Mathurin leased the 2012 black, turbocharged sedan, with 15,400 miles and valued at $159,900, from Miller Motorcars in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Miller Motorcars assigned the lease to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Financial Services.
Mathurin listed an address in Valley Stream, Nassau County, but court records indicate that he was actually living in Sparta, New Jersey when he bought the Rolls-Royce.
Court records also indicate that Mathurin has a thing about luxury vehicles.
A month before he leased the Rolls, according to records in a federal bankruptcy case in Suffolk County, he leased a 2010 Aston Martin Rapide from Miller Motorcars. The sedan was valued at $112,351 and he financed $63,001. He surrendered the car in 2017, but still owed $63,000, according to a bankruptcy pleading by TD Auto Finance.
Last year he filed another bankruptcy case, this time in Newark.
He declared assets of $731,000 and liabilities of $754,000, but creditors claimed he owned more than $1 million.
The claims include $260,000 for wheels: the Rolls, then valued at $131,000; a 2013 BMW 650xi, $60,000; a Ducati Panigale R motorcycle, $41,000; and a 2012 BMW 750, $28,000.
He listed outright ownership of a 2007 Land Rover, valued at $5,783. He also owed more than $600,000 on a mortgage and $140,000 for student loans.
The petition shows him as an IT technician for the New York City Health & Hospitals Corp., making $9,333 a month.
Both bankruptcies were dismissed, because Mathurin failed to follow the judge’s instructions in the Suffolk case and failed to file financial schedules in the Newark case.
The whereabouts of his various vehicles are unclear, except for the Rolls. In July 2018, the Ghost was brought to Mount Vernon.
Mathurin told J&B that the car had been damaged in a deer strike and from hitting a guard rail. The front grill, headlamps, hood, and roof; rear glass and trunk lid; left front fender and bumper; left rear quarter panel and left rear bumper; and the tail light and muffler exhaust were damaged.
“Collectively these damages render the vehicle a constructive total loss,” the preliminary repair estimate stated.
But Mathurin authorized repairs and J&B fixed the car.
Then, J&B owner Joseph Izzo attests in a court filing, Mathurin said he would not pay for the work because AIG Insurance “had determined that there was no insurance coverage in place for this vehicle.”
Now Rolls-Royce financial services wants the car. It sued J&B last month in Westchester Supreme Court, demanding that the Ghost be returned and demanding $122,000 in damages for unjust enrichment.
J&B responded that under New York law, “a garage keeper who repairs a motor vehicle at the request of the vehicle’s owner has a lien upon such vehicle to the extent of services performed.”
Rolls-Royce, J&B says in its counterclaim, must pay $22,485 for the Ghost.