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Author Topic: any of you ever sued over a car you bought  (Read 1230 times)
KERR
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« on: July 22, 2014, 11:07:15 AM »

So long story short,  i guess im going to have to get a lawer and go back on the seller of this camaro,  ever day its another rusted part.

Ad read,  30K actual mile car,  X11, factory air, V8,  New 750 carb ( lied its old as hell)  TH350 with shift kit ( junk )  New 1/4s and floor pans,  needs a little TLC

 
THIS IS NOT A SHOW CAR, ITS A GRATE DRIVER AND NEEDS PAINT,  THAT IS WHY ITS NOT $45K dollars...


So i called on the phone  talked to the guy,  told him my plans,  they said the car was good and would be fine for a color swap to black,  went and looked at the car, but do to weather didnt get a chance to drive it ( started pouring the snow)   I ask if we could put in on a lift and they said the lift was at there shop...   

So fast forward,   I get ready to paint,     take vinyl  top off,  rust you pan put your hand threw,   need roof and roof supports,   I figured id just eat that and planned on a roof skin from what you all said....     Move on to interior to  take it out,   seats rusted, floor rusted and this new floor pan is more of piece of aluminum from lows,  and the cross brace on the drivers side where the seat bolts in is busted.  so even all 4 bolts where bolted in,  the side next to the door isnt attached to anything...  I had to throw all the seats but frames away along with all the carpet and dash pad.. they where molded and mildewed to the point that car stunk up my garage,  not to mention im deathly allergic to it.   to the point of walk by a place on the street that mold and im at the dr that night with out even going in the building... 

At this point im poed,  i figured id strip the car in case i need more parts.    Rear 1/4 are on the car but they done with pop rivits and already have rust around them. They also over lapped the tops of the 1/4s so there was about half inch of bondo / fiberglass to get it level..    the truck lid has dual set of holes,  im guessing some one installed the spoiler and then shut the  trunk and it didnt line up..     Doors are in good shape which is surprising,     move on the front fenders and they have patch panels witch would be ok,  but they again used thin metal or aluminum,  pop rivet gun, AND bent the ends around and over the factory fenders and bolts,  then covered it up with fiberglass and bondo...  Not a big deal,  ill eat two fenders...    I go to take them off, and now the big metal thing that the fenders bolt to ( along with the door) has holes on both side of the weld / pinch seam?  that are the size of a base ball...      The top of the fire wall, on the passenger side behind the AC ( below the windshild)  has rust holes and has been covered up with what looks like melted fiberglass or something...      then i cut my freaking leg on the fender so i quit last night and went to the dr to get a tetanus shot...

Anyway,  so far the only thing about this car that is correct is the vin number and the mileage..  the rest has been nothing but lies..   I feel like i paid a lot of money for a $4K car,  and if they had been honest i would have never bought the car for what my plans are,  I would have bought one of those on line out of Arizona or someplace that is rust free shell...

another thing that poes me is that i told them i was doing a big block with twin turbos and the state thats car is in i believe it would have twisted its self in half,  which would not be very safe,  ad in the fact that only time i drove it was with both my kids in the car and we ridding a ticking time bomb...


Anyway any of you ever filed a law suit over something like this,  I dont care to give them the car back,  ill eat my time, labor and expenses on ins, taxes and tools, along with my now dr bill and what ive spent on materials...  or i need enough money to cover a new body...   

Ill post a link to the photos...    Im not trying get anything for free,  but i dont want to eat this project,  in all honesty the car should have just been crushed..

 
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janobyte
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 12:00:15 PM »

What did you pay for it ? Not similar ,but went through the court system against a body man on a 64 ss years ago. Now, I did have estimates, receipts and promissory notes.

I would definitely have a sit down with an attorney, and see what you have for a case....shy away from nonprofessional opinions here.

Keep in mind , I feel for you ,but you were sold garbage...and the seller knows this. There should be a price to somewhat ease your pain ,and deter him from trying to defend his wrong doings. Buyer beware...to a point. Talk to your lawyer. Consultation should be free.
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janobyte
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 12:13:39 PM »

2 summers ago I sold a guy a 68 SS El Camino (needed restored, solid car, wrong big block) We went at it a little ,lasted a couple weeks but both walked away happy. A year later I ran into him, the car was done right. He showed me pictures and offered to let my wife and I take it out seeing as my Z is out for a while. Did not take him up on the offer ,but we ended up friends...this is how things should work.
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Sauron327
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 04:04:04 PM »

I read your other thread about this car and am curious why you did not have someone with bodywork experience inspect it. Riveted quarters should have been noticed upon inspection, as well as the lower fender butchery. The paint is horrendous and gaps are awful. In the first pic, the leading edge of the vinyl top is a clear indication of a nightmare. All that is enough to make me walk unless the car is dirt cheap; not to mention the red flag of a dealer sale. That car was worth nowhere near the $4K you think is was. Good luck on the lawsuit.

If you are considering a Dynacorn body be aware that they are not plug and play. Extensive work is required to make them acceptable unless they have improved quality tremendously. Read Jayson's #14 reply. I know him from Refinish Network. http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=167739
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Kelley W King
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 05:05:48 PM »

Never sued over a car but been in several suits. Looks like the ad might hurt you. New quarters? does not say how they were installed. New floors, well they are just not right. 350 at? well it does not say it is good. Not a show car? driver? did it drive? Wish you luck. I think you just went to the school of hard knocks.
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ZLP955
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 05:10:40 PM »

Once you've cut into it and begun replacing/fixing areas of the car, the waters get very murky. Good luck with this, but I think your legal costs could easily outweigh your costs to date (and then some), with no guarantee of a positive outcome.
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Tim - New South Wales, Australia
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bcmiller
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 05:34:37 PM »

Sorry to hear things did not go as planned.  ALWAYS take someone with you to do an inspection before you buy a car. As a potential buyer, sometimes we only see the good things about a vehicle or the things we want to see.

It is hard to say what would happen if you took legal action.  Personally I don't think I would waste my time pursuing it.  Live and learn.

Once you start stripping down a car, you never know what you might find.

Good luck.
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Bryon
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2014, 06:06:47 PM »

Shawn have you tried talking with the seller and resolving this,sometimes reminding him about word of mouth or as I like to call it (The Internet Justice League) can change someones attitude real fast. Lawyers get expensive and the process is long and drawn out.
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" He who knows naught, knows not that he knows naught"  It's not you...  It's just the way my brain is wired.
janobyte
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2014, 06:59:50 PM »

Shawn have you tried talking with the seller and resolving this,sometimes reminding him about word of mouth or as I like to call it (The Internet Justice League) can change someones attitude real fast. Lawyers get expensive and the process is long and drawn out.

And the Lawyers always win. Like I said ,different situation for me. And I had a contract, etc...also more than 4K ( is that what I'm gathering KERR paid?) involved ,28 years ago.

good advice vince      Just hate to see someone get so taken. 

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Sauron327
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2014, 08:16:03 PM »

The wording in this sentence suggests KERR paid more than $4K for this car: "I feel like i paid a lot of money for a $4K car".

There are numerous other threads on T. Camaro and other sites where uneducated buyers purchased junk. I've priced jobs for clients that became unaffordable because they had no clue what they were looking at upon purchase.
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ko-lek-tor
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2014, 08:30:23 PM »

Hate to see anyone "taken advantage"of in this hobby, but you are not the first, nor last. Like Kelley King said, I'd chalk it up to the price of tuition for the harsh learning experience. Of course this does not teach the guy a lesson, as it is normal to want justice in our culture. The reality is that even if a settlement was reached and that is presuming a case can be made, the lawyer gets most of the funds as his pay, hence his/her incentive.
I know this is hindsight, but I don't like to buy something that was "restored" by someone else unless proof and documents showing work to support claimed work are present. I usually get untouched cars were all that is wrong can be plainly seen. I would put my energies into either fixing car right or abandoning the project, cut your losses, and find another car. Coming out on top in legal matters are the exception , rather than the rule, at least from my experiences.
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Putting you First...Keeps me First. Talent on loan from God. Helping the hobbyist and exposing the fraud
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daves87gn
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2014, 09:12:50 PM »

Shawn have you tried talking with the seller and resolving this,sometimes reminding him about word of mouth or as I like to call it (The Internet Justice League) can change someones attitude real fast. Lawyers get expensive and the process is long and drawn out.

I would call seller(s) and let them know what you found and that the car is not as described, let them know that you would like to work things out as you believe they would not knowingly sell you a car in that condition, if they still blow you off, advise them that your next call will be to your bro-in-law (bs but tell them his a good lawyer) which wont cost you a dime, and that the money they'll spend in legal fees will far outweigh what your looking in restitution 
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Dave, SoCal
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2014, 09:52:02 PM »

If you do decide to pursue legal action, do your homework. Some states permit double, triple or quadruple damages in civil cases like this - I know of a guy that sent one across state lines, misrepresented the car, lost the out-of-state legal battle and paid a lot more than what he had sold the car for originally in his loss. It would have been a lot cheaper for him to have taken the car back (about a $75K car, ended up paying out somewhere around $250K if I remember correctly). Like a lot of the guys have mentioned, I'd hate to have to drag somebody into court, but if you have a chance of recovering your money, you could at least ask for some legal advice to see if you have a leg to stand on. Good luck -

Regards -
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KERR
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2014, 09:01:22 AM »

yea i paid a lot more than 4K for the car,  main reason it was " done" in my terms,   I knew there would be little things and probably a new roof skin just because of the rivit things (  the little pegs that stick up and the plastic slid on to hold the trim) also all of you said ever one of those cars needs a roof a skin.. 

The front pannel gap wasnt a big deal, on the passenger side,  that fender had a dent and i was planning on going radio delete,  so the hole would have to be welded up or that one replaced...    For me time is like money,  ive got two kids that are very athletic,  basket ball,  base ball,  then both made all stars on base ball and soft ball...  then both went on to travel ball..   So if i can buy a new fender for 250-300 its a lot easier for me to do that than learn to weld and it look pretty lol..

Im not worried about the cost of legal action.  I have 4 more going right now. two are personal property stuff and two are work related.   So tossing him this little one would be no big deal..  He has settled two of the 6 so far,  looks like the one against the company will go away,  ( dead beat woman wants money for free)    it always amazes me that people think they can be paid for not showing up to work....  other two going right now are over land... 

I did call the dealer,  three times,   3ed time his son answered and said  " we dont know where the car came from"   which is a total different story than they told me when i went to look at it and the other cars,   also being a dealer you have a paper work trail,    then he said " go to the DMV and get a NVDIS? run..   


Only thing ive thrown away is all the seat covers, head liner, carpet and of course the foam.. 

if i did this correctly here is the link   ill ad more photos as i  go.. 
http://s1284.photobucket.com/user/KB496/library/69%20camaro?sort=2&page=1
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sdkar
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 09:11:26 AM »

Hello,

I am not an attorney, but I have graduated from law school, and have been involved in several lawsuits involving classic and muscle cars.  All of which I was successful, and got the buyer tens of thousands in damages.  However, the lawsuits in which I was involved, dealt with vehicle misrepresentation such as the car was advertised as a numbers matching Z28, which it was not, or the car was advertised as a numbers matching, but the engine had been stamped to look like it was from that car, and all were from specialized car dealers, not a seller from the general public.  I got Jerry involved on one of them, as it was a 69 Camaro, and his report was golden, and we settled out of court.  

In the case where the seller is a dealer specialising in muscle cars, he is held to a much higher standard than just a regular person.  A person on the street is only held to the standard of a typical person, and not as an expert.  Therefore, he will get the benefit of any doubt, and what he said to you to make the sale, may amount to only "opinion" or "puffing".

There are several things to consider.  First, where is the seller located?  If he is out of state, you may have to sue in his state, and not yours.  You may be able to state that he availed himself to your state by placing an advertisement that was meant to be seen by you outside of his state, and if you get the right judge, that will be enough to establish jurisdiction.  I found a case involving an ebay sale, which hailed the seller into the buyer's state, which made it easier for the buyer and difficult on the seller.  Also, just because he said the car was in great condition, may not make him liable, as again, it was his opinion, which is different than stating as a fact, which is tough to prove in a courtroom.  Even if he made statments of fact, you have the burden of proving what was said, which in darn near impossible.  You may be limited to what the ad stated, and anything you could get him to say during depo, if the judge even allows you take his depositiion, as in small claims court, the rules are more relaxed, and the defendant could argue undue burden, and prevail in halting a depo of himself.  Next, you have to prove what he actally knew.  You would have to convince the judge he knew about the rust under the top.  All the seller has to do is play Sgt. Schultz, and say he knew nothing, and he will be believed.

Without knowing the whole story, and only going on what you stated here, I will say that your likelihood of being successful in court would be low.  And I doubt you will find a lawyer who would take this on a contignecy.  Which means you can easily find a lawyer who will take your case, but he will want a retainer.  And it will take a year at least, and he will keep asking for more and more money, as the lawyers fight it out on every stupid detail.  Long gone are the days of going to trial quickly in civil suits.  Just as doctors have to order every single test in order to cover his butt, lawyers have to argue every single nuance, regardless of the chance of success, just to cover their butt...and to pad the bill as well.  It will take 6 months to establish jurisidiction, then there will be summary judgment hearings which is what the lawyers do to get the case thrown out on a technicality over the stupidest reasons...and on and on.  No matter how gung ho you are going in, I assure you, you will be dogged and no longer care long before it is over.  And if you have an attorney, the money spent could have gone a long ways in fixing your car.  Also, there is no guarantee of getting attorney's fees if you win, unless it is given by contract or statute.  I have seen cases over $200 that amounted in over $20k in attorney's fees, that the plaintiff had hoped to collect as well.  The judge agreed he was owed the $200, but gave not fees, and it cost him.  Lesson here is don't let pride get in the way of common sense.    

However, if you want to do something, and you believe you have jurisdiction in your state, you could sue in small claims court.  It's much easier, you don't need a lawyer, and could actually be a great learning experience.   Depending on your area, you are limited in what amount you can sue for, such as $5k in my state here.  The rules are a little relaxed, and the judge basically will typically attempt to advocate for both parties, give legal advice, and not hold you tot he letter of the law and proper procedure, as they surely will in a higher court.  File a suit, basically telling what happened and establish your cause of action, which is the legal reason you are suing.  It would be typiclally something like breach of contract, but may include other causes of action, depending on the facts of the case.  Bring in the ad, and any other evidence you have.  Get your body shop guy to testify as to the actual damage and cost to repair, and if so, an expert on what the car was really worth when you bought it.  You will have a 50/50 shot I bet.  However, it is "buyer beware", but a consumer does have some protections, just not many...as the seller is also protected as he did not hold himself out as an expert here, and will also get the benefit of the doubt.  In fact, the seller may not say a word, and if you can not prove your case, he could win.  Small claims will cost you a few hundred bucks, whereas an attorney, $5k-$10k easy.  You get to tell your side, and watch the seller explain himself in front of a judge.  That may be worth it.  And, if he doesn't respond, you can get a default, prove your damage, and get a judgment.  Collecting on that judgment is a whole other issue.

Hope this helps.
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