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Being sued for selling "cracked" woodburner.

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by FrankG23, Apr 2, 2011.

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  1. FrankG23

    FrankG23 New Member

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    I sold this woodburner that has 2 - 8" ducts coming from the top that was hooked into my furnace plenum. It was in my home when I bought it. I never had any problems with it. worked great. I had decided to sell it this past winter because I only had 1 cord left, and I couldn't cut any more wood b/c of back problems that are pretty bad.

    Anyway's she called me up 2 weeks later saying I sold it to her and her boyfriend UNOPERABLE, and I knew this BEFORE I sold it to her. I had used it up to a week of her buying it, and 2 months non-stop before that,and every year since I bought the home. I told her this as well. I even vacuumed it out for her inside after we took out the firebricks.

    She sent a certified mail explaining that it was like that when she bought it, and had 2 installers and 3 welders and told her it would cost 350 or more to fix it. She wanted 300 back to fix it or the 400 that I sold it to her for and I go over an hr. to pick it back up. I told her "I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH IT" she say's when she talked to me i said it had "NO CRACKS" which i did say this b/c she asked this. I never seen a crack or repaired it in anyways. They inspected and with her boyfriend did as well. I told her the age was unknown and it was here when I bought the house, which it said that in my ad. Craigslist ad to boot.

    She said she's bringing her installer to testify as well in the letter. I sold it for 400 and she's suing for 1260$. I was mad and never responded to her phone call b/c the way she talked to me and said about taking me to court the first time i even talked to her. She did send pictures showing a 3-4" crack that was near some circular pipe hole that was plugged off in the lower middle of it, in the back, and she states "THIS COULD only be seen after the installer took it apart as per protocol",this was to the letter to the judge . I did send a letter back 4 weeks later telling her it was in working conditions and you inspected it yourself and bought it. I even have my power bills that show my electric doubled the month after she bought it. The avg. temps were exactly the same both months according to the power bill as well.

    Does she have a case? we go this month to small claims court.


    Sorry for confusing post, if any statements are unclear, please post and i'll answer them better.

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  2. Garjan111

    Garjan111 New Member

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    go to her house to pick it up and fall, then sue her!
  3. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I'm no lawyer but unless there was a written warranty then I really don't see what she can do. In my state, everything is considered to be sold "as-is" unless otherwise stated.


    pen
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    If the stove is indeed cracked then the best thing you can do is give her the money back. Now or after the nice judge tells you to and tacks court costs on top of the $1,260 judgement.
  5. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    Problem about offering her money back is that it could have easily been cracked during istallation or been banged slightly during transit which could have caused a hairline crack which then opened up upon use.

    Something tells me you may well end up in court, but make sure you take your power bills along and show the judge it was operating satisfactorily up to the time it was removed and taken away.

    If your courts are the same as ours, we usually have a mediation session first to try to sort things out without the court process.
    This may well be the place to show your power bills or any other evidence you have to back up your testimony.

    At the end of the day, it's cases like this (and this is not the first time that I have seen something like this happen) that just want to make me smash any old stuff up and not give it away cheap, not worth the hastle.
  6. Alternative Guy

    Alternative Guy New Member

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    Only in America! Good grief. It's interesting that such a crack could not be repaired for $50, and that the buyercouldn't chalk it up to not having inspected it better.

    I was leaning in the direction of "no warranties," but the person who points out the cost of losing is substantial has a good point.
  7. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    as-is applies here, too. Good luck with that crazy lady. I'd tell her she can have her money back and that you have a 15% restocking fee.
  8. mike in ct

    mike in ct Member

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    i'm thinking it can be 1 of 2 things here.
    1) the people are schisters.... and had a burner identical to yours with a crack and searched craigslist till they found one identical and bought it only to do what they are doing now, or

    2) you overlooked the crack.........you would know better than anyone here if thats the case. if so than morally and practically you should offer to refund money or if your sure it was'nt cracked like they are showing than fight it on principle. your calling there bluff, simple as that. all you have to say it "they inspected it, that was'nt there when i sold it to them" just cause an installer says there is a crack in their stove, does'nt mean it was there when you sold it to them.

    i believe in doing the right thing, but not being a smuck about it. i am a little suspicsious that the asked you over phone if it had a crack in it, then they get there and "dont see a crack" that they were concerned about, and then get it home and low and behold " a crack"........ sounds fishey to me.

    even if you do decide your going to refund their money, i would not feel comfortable about driving over to them to get it. i would say, yup , bring it back and i'll give you your money back, otherwise, cant help ya. just my feeling on it.
  9. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Sounds high to fix a crack, I would offer her $150 and sign a waiver saying shes happy with the sale and settlement.
  10. Alternative Guy

    Alternative Guy New Member

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    Why is she suing for $1260, if it only cost $400?
  11. Alternative Guy

    Alternative Guy New Member

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    I think weatherguy is on the right track. That price sounds awefully high. Maybe offer a lower amount and be done with it, with a waiver.
  12. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    Indeed...
    I'm an ASME welder, and if it is a 3-4" crack, can be fixed to 100% in a few minutes maybe?
    Heck, even if the crack is one or two feet long, still a few minutes tops.
    regardless if it's cast or what have you.

    Anyway, if you buy it it's as is.
    tell her to... well... yep.



    Or do this.
    Instead of falling, maybe say you hurt your back... since it already is hurting... :]
  13. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I would never normally assume this, but I'm bored and OP is new. Is there a possibility that this OP is actually a person who just bought a broken stove and was trying this scenario out on us to see which way we'd go?

    Ok, I'll take my tinfoil hat off now.

    I still think you ask for the stove back and give her the money back. Then fix it and CL it again, or throw it in a corner until you get around to doing something else with it.
  14. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    If the crack is in a cast iron part, that could be expensive. Steel is easy to fix.

    This is really a better question for a lawyer I think.
  15. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

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    In the future....A bill of sale signed by the buyer acknowledging "No warranty or guarantee, expressed or implied, is conveyed with this property. Property is sold in AS-IS condition"...should do wonders.
  16. Jaugust124

    Jaugust124 Feeling the Heat

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    I can't believe that any judge would give her $1260. According to my understanding of the law (and I only know anything from watching the "People's Court") is that she is only entitled to the amount of what she is out. She can not be made better than what she was before she bought the stove. If you know what I mean.
  17. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Very simple, used piece of equipment. Cash as-is where-is buyer beware. DO NOT OFFER ANY SETTLEMENT as it will be held against you in court. If you knowingly sold a POS to someone, karma is a...
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    What brand and model stove are we shooting in the dark with here?
  19. FrankG23

    FrankG23 New Member

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    I really had no idea. If there was a crack don't you think we would of saw it when we vacuumed it out after we took out the bricks? I did this for her and her boyfriend.

    If she was so concerned why not take it apart? Her boyfriend was there. I never knew you could take these apart, there are like 75 screws holding it together but I just thought it was holding the top to the sides.

    Also I am not sure what model it was.

    It was steel NOT cast.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    She asked you if it was cracked. You said it was not cracked. They found a crack. Raise your right hand and repeat after me:

    "I am screwed."
  21. FrankG23

    FrankG23 New Member

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    I never saw a crack the whole time I owned it......... my wife is going to testify we used this for 6 years with no problems.
  22. onion

    onion Burning Hunk

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    Treebuster

    What state are you in?

    I can be a vindictive SOB so I would probably spend $100 to go talk to a lawyer and get a good case together and file a countersuit immediately for defamation of character. 2 weeks is way longer than I would think any implied warranty would last for a private transaction (if there was one).

    $1260 is ridiculous

    I wouldn't breathe one more word to her other than see you in court or tell her your lawyer's phone number. She's counting on you to spook from the lawsuit. I bet you can make her blink.
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Go down to small claims court before your court date and sit and listen through a couple or three cases and then decide.

    But if you said it wasn't cracked and it is then you will lose. It makes not one bit of difference if you didn't know it.
  24. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

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    Too bad Johnny Cochran is dead...I can just see him...."If the crack don't spit...you must acquit"
  25. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    This sounds like the sort of person who wears clothes for a week or more then takes them back to the store. What's the bet that she loades it full of wood, launched it and made the crack herself? You might want to go check the court records and see if this critter or her other half have done this sort of thing before. Some of these vermin have their lawyers number on speed dial. It seems quite suspicous that someone looks at something and doesn't notice a crack, buys it used as is then manages to locate all these welders with sky high estimates to fix a simple crack. Me calls, "BULLSHITE".
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