Oklahoma Wrecker Services Sue Town Over Ordinance

By WENDY BURTON | December 30, 2011

Owners of two wrecker services in Fort Gibson, Okla., have filed a lawsuit against the town.

Lightning Wrecker and R&R Wrecker, owned by Jeremy and Lisa Rowe respectively, filed a suit claiming the town’s “negligent actions and operation” resulted in extreme financial loss to the businesses.

The filing claims former town attorney, Don Lewis, assured the Rowes the town would comply with an ordinance that would ensure Lightning and R&R received all wrecker calls from city limits.

The Rowes, believing the ordinance was going to be followed, invested money and property into their businesses, according to the lawsuit. The suit seeks in excess of $10,000 in damages and all attorney and court costs.

Fort Gibson’s city attorney, Forney Sandlin, said Tuesday he was unable to comment because the town had not been served, the Muskogee Phoenix reported in a story for Wednesday’s editions.

The Rowes’ attorney, Orvil Loge, said he and his clients had not decided whether to make a statement.

In September 2009, Fort Gibson trustees voted to amend a town ordinance regarding wrecker service rotations. Previously, all wrecker services in the county were called according to a rotation list when a wrecker was needed.

The new ordinance mandated any vehicle impounded in town limits must be taken to an impound lot in town limits – and Lightning and R&R Wrecker services, both owned by the Rowes, were the only such businesses in town.

Other Muskogee County wrecker services got an injunction in October 2009 requiring the town to continue to use the original rotation list.

The other wrecker services said the new ordinance would create a monopoly that benefited the Rowes’ wrecker businesses.

Town trustees voted to repeal the new wrecker ordinance Oct. 27, 2009, and follow the previous rotation order.

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