Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman dismissed dealers’ attempt to block Tesla’s retail stores in Massachusetts.
According to the ruling, issued on Monday, December 31st, Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman said the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association and other plaintiffs ‘lacked standing to sue’. This was the second time when a judge dismissed the dealers’ attempt to block the automaker’s retail stores, after in November another judge denied a preliminary injunction against Tesla’s suburban Boston store.
“We disagree with his decision,” said Robert O’Koniewski, the association’s executive vice president. “If you read the statute, it’s pretty clear: a factory cannot own a store, and a dealer can sue for injunctive relief if they feel the public is being harmed.”
Tesla opened its first showroom in Massachusetts in September in the Natick Mall. In October the dealer association sued the automaker saying that Tesla’s stores violate the state’s franchise laws, consumer protection laws and licensing.
Currently, Tesla has 17 stores in 10 states and the District of Columbia, most of them located in shopping malls, and it plans to open 6 more. The stores offer its customers design studios and interactive displays, allowing people to create their own Tesla Model S on a large touchscreen.