The family of a dementia patient who bought a new pickup, led police on a high-speed chase and later died of a heart attack are suing the dealership that sold it to him.
Family members of Donald Davis claim negligence, willful misconduct, elder abuse and wrongful death in the lawsuit filed against Cabral Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, owner William Cabral and finance manager Jeannette Mendoza.
"I have to go forward to show that they did indeed do something wrong," said Davis' widow, Janet. "They took away the humanity in my husband."
Davis, 67, had heart problems and dementia and was confined to a wheelchair at Manteca Care and Rehabilitation Center. On Oct. 28, 2010, his sister came to visit and found his room empty. A search found the phone number for Cabral on a notepad, and the family eventually learned Davis had gone there and bought a Dodge Ram pickup.
The lawsuit claims Mendoza picked up Donald Davis from the care home. Davis was sitting in his wheelchair on the porch, wearing sweat pants, a shirt and slippers, and he fell into Mendoza as she tried to get him into the truck.
Mendoza called Cabral and "expressed concern about the safety and propriety of transporting Donald under the circumstances and was nevertheless instructed by William Cabral to bring Donald to the dealership," the lawsuit says.
Once there, Davis could not fill out the required paperwork, so Cabral employees did it for him, even forging his signature, the lawsuit claims. Then, though Davis had no money, checkbook or driver's license, they helped him into the $38,000 truck and let him drive away.
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Family of Dementia Patient Suing Manteca Car Dealership