Dealership owner sues over real estate

WARREN -- Diane Sauer, who took over full control of a Warren Chevrolet dealership last year, now says she is being illegally prevented from buying the dealership's real estate.
Sauer filed a lawsuit Friday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court against Paul Martin, who used to own Martin Chevrolet at 419 W. Market St.
The suit asks that Sauer be allowed to buy the real estate and receive more than $25,000 in damages.
Directory information did not have a business or residential listing for Martin, who lives in Bath, Ohio.
The suit says Sauer and Martin agreed in 1993 that she would take over ownership by buying stock in Martin Chevrolet Inc. Sauer was a longtime employee of the dealership.
Sauer bought the company's stock last September, the suit says. The name of the dealership was changed to Diane Sauer Chevrolet.
The suit says the sale agreement provided that Sauer be allowed to buy the real estate once certain conditions were met.
Sauer met the conditions and was prepared to buy the real estate, but Martin refused to sell last month and has threatened to evict the dealership, the suit says. Sauer said she made substantial improvements to the dealership based on statements from Martin last year that the sale would be finalized, the suit says.