A Houston judge has denied a woman's attempt to stop the sale of some rare cars owned by famed late attorney John O'Quinn. O’Quinn’s long-time companion, Darla Lexington, had claimed that five of the vintage cars — a multi-million dollar Talbot Lago, a Mercedes 540K , and three Corvettes — belonged to her and thus could not be auctioned off in this week’s RM Monterey sale.
Lexington claims ownership of 28 cars total. She sued the estate seeking a temporary injunction preventing the sale this week. None of the parties involved showed up for court Monday, when the temporary injunction was denied.
O'Quinn had amassed a collection of more than 800 cars before he was killed in a car accident last October.
Lexington was not named in O'Quinn's will, but told the court last Friday at a hearing that she believed the five cars belonged to her, saying they were gifts. She said she wanted the five cars, worth an estimated $5 million, to be donated to a museum.
The judge's order Monday gave the estate the legal right to sell the cars.
The O'Quinn foundation released a statement saying they were happy with the court's ruling. "John O'Quinn was a legendary and meticulous trial lawyer. In his last will and testament, signed in 2008, John made clear that all of his property — including his car collection — was to go to his charitable foundation," the statement said.
According to a story published at www.abclocal.go.com, Lexington took the stand last Friday, identifying her last name as O'Quinn. She referred to O’Quinn as "a husband, my lover and my life." Lexington testified she doesn't want the cars returned in order to sell them.
"First of all, they were mine, and I'm planning for them to go into a museum in Houston. That's still my goal," Lexington said, according to the story.
Attorneys for O'Quinn's estate argued that none of the cars were in Lexington’s name. Under questioning from the estate's attorneys, it was brought out that O'Quinn's estate assets are in trouble and that not selling the five cars she claims as gifts could dig a deeper financial hole.
Since O’Quinn’s death, roughly 300 of the cars owned by O’Quinn have been sold. Dale Jefferson, attorney for O’Quinn’s estate, said most of the cars eventually would be sold.
Jefferson added that O’Quinn’s will clearly stated that he was single and that he intended his wealth to go to charity.
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