May 21, 2007
Joplin, Mo. — Delivery trucks began bringing furniture over the weekend to dozens of consumers who had purchased merchandise from a Joplin furniture store that closed suddenly on May 9. Attorney General Jay Nixon sued the local owner of the Ashley Furniture store at 1329 S. Rangeline, D&L Ventures Inc., to obtain furniture for customers who had received neither the products nor refunds.
Jasper County Circuit Judge David Mouton today granted Nixon’s request for a preliminary injunction in the case; the injunction continues the freeze Nixon obtained on D&L assets through a temporary restraining order on May 14.
Nixon said his office has been in contact with the corporate headquarters of Ashley Furniture Industries, based in Wisconsin, about the Joplin store situation. Ashley Furniture Industries, which is not a defendant in the lawsuit, has responded by sending in trucks with almost $600,000 worth of furniture to the Joplin area to be delivered to consumers. Nixon praised the response of Ashley Furniture Industries.
“Ashley Furniture took immediate and appropriate action by stepping up right away to take care of the customers of this store by arranging for furniture to be brought in from hundreds of miles away and delivered to customers’ homes,” Nixon said. “We will continue to work with the corporation to see that consumers receive their merchandise.”
Ashley Furniture has told Nixon’s office that at least 80 customers received furniture delivered in the last three days. Nixon said Ashley Furniture will continue to contact other customers to arrange for delivery of their furniture, which could include an additional 220 to 270 customers of the Joplin store. Nixon also said the quick response of consumers in contacting his office was instrumental in the Attorney General’s Office being able to take decisive action.
“More than 230 consumers filed complaints with our office in the span of about a week, which indicated how big a problem this was,” Nixon said. “I appreciate that those consumers knew that the Attorney General’s Office was the right resource to contact with a consumer problem.”
Nixon said customers of the Ashley Furniture store who have questions can contact his Consumer Protection Division online at ago.mo.gov or by phone at 1-800-392-8222.