North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced a lawsuit has been filed against a “predatory” tow company that boots trucks.
North Carolina Attorney General Sues Tow Company For Targeting Black People
On December 12, Stein said that Charlotte-based A1 Towing Solutions, Inc. and owner David Jewel Satterfield are facing a lawsuit that accuses them of racially targeting consumers and illegally booting and towing their vehicles.
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, restitution, civil penalties, and attorney fees and investigative costs.
“This defendant hasn’t just been breaking the law and harming North Carolinians – he’s done so by purposefully targeting Black people,” said Stein. “It’s both wrong and illegal, and I’m asking the court to stop him from engaging in this predatory and discriminatory conduct and give full financial relief to his victims.”
Tow Company Previously Sued For Price Gouging Truck Drivers During Pandemic
Stein previously sued A1 Towing Solutions, Inc. and Satterfield in 2020, accusing the company of price gouging as they booted and towed trucks hauling essential supplies during the Coronavirus pandemic. This lawsuit alleged that the company forced truckers to pay as much as $4,400 after booting or towing their vehicles. The suit also accused A1 Towing Solutions, Inc. of illegal towing practices like “double” booting a truck and trailer in order to increase the removal fee and threatening to increase fees for the release of the trucks unless the drivers paid immediately.
After bringing forth the price gouging lawsuit, Stein learned that “the defendants were discriminatorily targeting African Americans with the brunt of their unlawful price gouging, unlawful towing and booting, and unlawful debt collection. Of the 14 complaints we received, 11 were submitted by African Americans.”
According to Stein, African Americans make up 35% of the population in Charlotte, but 72% of the vehicles Satterfield towed in the city during a specific time period were owned by African Americans.
An investigation by the North Carolina Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Division found that “Satterfield was targeting African Americans by a process called “reverse redlining,” in which certain communities receive less favorable treatment.” Investigators further allege that A1 Towing Solutions was primarily operating in areas of Charlotte with a mostly Black population.
An additional company owned by Satterfield, Automobile Recovery & Parking Enforcement, Inc, has also been named in the suit.
For clarity, it should be noted that Charlotte-based A1 Towing Solutions, Inc. is not the same company as Memphis-based A-1’s Towing, which has also been accused of predatory towing practices.