Deuce McAllister settles lawsuit

JACKSON, Miss. -- A tentative agreement has been reached to settle a federal lawsuit between former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister and Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. over his failed car dealership in Mississippi, court records said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson said Tuesday in a filing in U.S. District Court in Jackson that the parties have seven days to finalize the deal.

The dealership in Jackson closed in 2009 and filed for Chapter 7 liquidation under federal bankruptcy law.

NMAC sued McAllister and Deuce McAllister Motors LLC in October 2009 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's attorney, Joe Roberts, said in an email Wednesday that he was out of town and would comment later. An attorney for NMAC, Chad Hammons, referred questions to a Nissan spokesman. Nissan spokesman Steve Parrett declined comment Wednesday, citing the pending litigation.

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.

NMAC said in court records that it found problems with the dealership during its 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.

In his counter claim, 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's countersuit seeks unspecified damages.