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Monday: La-Z-Boy pulls the lever on eBay auction (update)

A motorized recliner with a DUI record gets into new legal trouble: It's not a La-Z-Boy.

By MARY LYNN SMITH, Star Tribune
Last update: November 3, 2009 - 8:38 AM

The police auction of a souped-up motorized recliner, confiscated because the owner was drunk, crashed Monday.

The bust and subsequent auction had attracted national media attention and drove eBay bidding for the chair past $40,000. But now the bidding will have to start all over again.

The Proctor, Minn., Police Department was 11 hours shy of ending its five-day auction on eBay when its ad was suddenly yanked off the site, apparently because it was referred to as a La-Z-Boy chair, and it's not. And that didn't sit with the folks at La-Z-Boy who faxed a complaint to the police chief about the use of the trademarked name and apparently filed a complaint with eBay.

Strictly speaking, the controversial chair is a motorized recliner, powered by a lawn mower engine, and equipped with a stereo, cup holders and lights. But Police Chief Walter Wobig said he took his cue from the deluge of media stories and headlines that referred to it as a La-Z-Boy.

After receiving the faxed scolding from La-Z-Boy on Monday morning, Wobig said he called the company and had a congenial discussion. The company representative told the chief to just make sure the eventual buyer doesn't continue referring to it as a La-Z-Boy chair. "And good luck with the sale," he said, according to Wobig.

But all went afoul by nightfall when the chief noticed the chair auction was off the website. Earlier in the day, Wobig said he tried to e-mail and call the folks at eBay but said there was no way to do that.

All he can do now is repost the listing without the trademark name, begin the bidding at $500 once again and hope bidders will drive the price to former heights.

An autographed photo of the former owner, Dennis Anderson, sitting in his chair, fetched $710 on eBay. Anderson's family and friends said the money will be used to help pay legal fines and legal fees after he crashed his recliner into a parked car while driving drunk.

Click to view image: '95adcbab8fc1-rocket_20chair.jpg'

Added: Nov-3-2009 Occurred On: Nov-3-2009
By: gregory_peckory
Tags: La-Z-Boy, motorized chair, drunk driving, confiscated,
Location: Proctor, Minnesota, United States (load item map)
Views: 8945 | Comments: 8 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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