Texas plumber Mark Oberholtzer has filed the "jihad truck lawsuit" because the use of his old work truck by ISIS has prompted death threats and a loss of business. Oberholtzer traded-in his Mark-1 Plumbing 2005 F-250 truck to a Ford dealership when buying a newer model of the truck in 2013. The dealership had reportedly agreed to remove his business emblem from the truck before taking it to auction. They did not, and a Syrian terrorist group has now turned the Ford into a killing machine that has been widely visible in propaganda videos online.
The vehicle at the center of the jihad truck lawsuit was shipped to Turkey after being auctioned, the legal filing by the Texas plumber maintains. Just one year after Mark Oberholtzer completed the trade-in deal and was enjoying his new vehicle, the first video featuring the Mark-1 Plumbing truck surfaced on the internet. A propaganda piece from the Ansar al-Deen Front terror group showed the old Ford truck had been outfitted with a mounted machine gun in its bed. The business logo was still emblazoned on the door with both the name and phone number clearly visible.
Texas plumber sues car dealer after his truck ends up on Syria's front lines https://t.co/cMGIDAtlim pic.twitter.com/wW3hTtGHsq
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 15, 2015
The jihad truck lawsuit was filed after the Texas plumber felt forced to close his business for a week due to the death threats and related harassing phone calls, Fox News reports. Mark Oberholtzer has asked the court to award damages to cover the "substantial lost revenues and business goodwill." He has operated the plumbing business for more than three decades.
The lawsuit also maintains that when a Mark-1 Plumbing worker began to attempt to peel off the company logo, a Ford dealership staffer told him to stop because such a removal would damage the truck's paint job. The Texas dealership employee also allegedly said they had something to use to foster a less damaging decal removal.
"All this while, Mark-1's revenues were lost and the company's reputation and standing in the business and local community was irretrievably damaged," an excerpt from the lawsuit says.
Plumber Suing Dealership After ISIS Uses His Trade-In Truck: Plumbing company's logo and phone number visible... https://t.co/W4gCWoFwUx
— Arief Noor Budiman (@arief_chikazo) December 15, 2015
After the Ford pickup truck deal concluded at the AutoNation dealership, it was reportedly purchased by Adesa Auto Auction. AutoNation representative Marc Cannon said that the auction company did take ownership title of the Mark-1 Plumbing truck, and it was the responsibility of the new owner to remove the company decal from the side of the truck. Cannon also added that the Texas car dealership was "nothing but a pass-through" in the deal and that if the truck had stayed on their lot, they would have removed the logo.
During an interview with the Galveston Daily News, the Texas plumber said that he had no clue how his Mark-1 Plumbing truck wound up in Syria.
"They were supposed to have it done and it looks like they didn't do it," Oberholtzer said.
"A few of the people were really ugly," the Texas plumber added when referencing the thousands of phone calls and faxes Mark-1 Plumbing received after his truck appeared in the terrorism video.
The Texas plumber also said that he wanted the public to realize that the truck no longer belonged to him, and he would really just like for all of the attention to go away. Oberholtzer told local reporters that after the truck appeared in the video, Department of Homeland Security agents came to question him.
What do you think about the jihad truck lawsuit and the death threats and business loss that Mark-1 Plumbing endured due to the old work truck appearing in the terrorism video?
[Image via Shutterstock.com]