Deal in McAllister/Nissan lawsuit

By Holbrook Mohr/The Associated Pres

JACKSON — A lawyer for Deuce McAllister said Friday that a deal has been reached with Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. in a federal lawsuit over the former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints running back’s failed Mississippi car dealership.

Attorney Joe Roberts told The Associated Press the settlement has been submitted for approval in U.S. District Court in Jackson. He said confidentiality agreements prevent him from disclosing the terms.

Nissan spokesman Steve Parrett didn’t immediately respond to a message Friday seeking comment.

If the judge signs off on the deal, it would conclude a lawsuit that NMAC filed in October 2009 against McAllister and Deuce McAllister Motors LLC. NMAC said it found problems with the dealership during a 2008 audit, then sent a monitor there and reinstated its credit. But, the lawsuit said, the dealership continued to sell cars and not pay NMAC back, and the debts grew.

The dealership operated in Chapter 11 for a time and agreed to liquidate its remaining assets through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

NMAC sued for more than $1.5 million, alleging the dealership defaulted on payments and exceeded credit limits.

McAllister filed a counter claim in which he said Nissan knew he “was a young professional athlete inexperienced in the motor vehicle sales business” and did little to help his dealership succeed. McAllister said that rather than helping, NMAC withheld information that the dealership wouldn’t be profitable in the area and neglected to warn him that one of his partners had done business with a Nissan-related dealership before and “was unsuitable for the management position.”

McAllister was a football star at the University of Mississippi and spent eight seasons as one of the Saints’ most popular players. He has invested heavily in his native Mississippi, including the Nissan business, a luxury car dealership and high-end real estate. McAllister also had a used-car business when he opened the Nissan store.