Lakewood auto parts supplier files claim

A Lakewood businessman this week filed a claim for damages against the city and its police department, saying officers damaged his business and defamed him while investigating whether he sold counterfeit auto parts.

David Layson, owner of Layson’s Restorations Inc., filed the claim in Pierce County Superior Court on Monday. He and his wife, Victoria, ask for damages in excess of $2.8 million. City attorney Heidi Wachter declined to comment Wednesday because she hadn’t seen the claim.

Lakewood police raided the Layson’s Restorations’ offices and the couple’s home in July 2008 and seized records , computers and auto parts after David Layson was arrested at a Pennsylvania car show on suspicion of selling forged auto parts to undercover officers.

Authorities said he illegally sold counterfeit Chrysler auto parts. Chrysler and Layson were involved in a dispute at the time. Layson contended he was within his rights to sell reproductions of Chrysler parts, most of which were used by hobbyists to restore older cars.

The Pennsylvania charges against him were dismissed earlier this year after he paid $1,000 in court costs, and he was allowed to reclaim more than 1,000 parts seized at the show. He never was charged with a crime in Washington, according to state court records.

The Laysons said police damaged property during the raid at the company’s offices at 3107 106th St. S. and their home in Kent. They also say the seizure of records and computers hurt the company’s ability to do business.

They further contend comments a Lakewood assistant police chief made to KOMOTV cast David Layson and the company in a bad light, further hurting the company.