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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. Billy123

    Billy123 Member

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    Oh, My bad. Didn't see that.

    Still, can't see how she can win this case. You might bring a letter from an expert showing that it is possible that she very well may have cracked the stove.

    No Soprano fans here?

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  2. FrankG23

    FrankG23 New Member

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    Well I found one exactly like that at Home Depot for 1450 plus tax, which I am going to bring to show the judge how cheap I sold it for. From the picture she sent me, it looks like it's one big box that is all welded together.
  3. SnapCracklePop

    SnapCracklePop Feeling the Heat

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    Ooh, me, me! I'm a Sopranos fan. And a pacifist. And all that leftie stuff. Go figure...
  4. FrankG23

    FrankG23 New Member

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    I never said "NO" to the question about cracks either. I said something like this "nothing wrong with, it's been working fine since I bought it" I just re read her letter.
  5. jerseykat1

    jerseykat1 New Member

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    when i was being sued, i hired a lawyer (the amount was much greater than 1200 dollars) and first thing the lawyer told me was that the plaintiff has to PROVE (provide sufficient evidence of his or her claims) that you are guilty of knowingly selling her a faulty furnace.

    All verbal communication never happened unless there are witnesses so if you told her something that would make you automatically at fault, unless she has it recorded, in writting or a credible witness. Then the conversation never happened.

    Ask yourself what possible evidence could she provide that proves the unit was faulty before she loaded onto her vehicle?
    Ask yourself what possible evidence can you provide that proves the unit was not faulty?
    Compare the 2 pieces of evidence and see which one would make a more convincing case in the eye of someone that's unbiased.

    In order for you to win you will need to state that the unit was 100% without question perfectly usable and not cracked and the only possible way it could have gotten that way was during transit or installation, who is to say the installer did not crack it and lied to the customer to cover their own ass?

    IMO any judge with any good sense will not force you to pay more than what she paid for the unit. Civil court costs are not too unreasonable (i know in NJ last i check about 6 years ago it was less then 50 dollars), find out what court costs would be if you lost and ended up having to refund what she paid plus court costs and ask yourself is it worth it.
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't in the slightest hesitate to call her and offer your welder resolution. It shows that you have attended to her concerns and at least attempted to meet her in some fashion half way. That is not a bad proposal at all. Secondly you will bring this up in court that you made this effort. Also that you in no way "prettied it up" covering it with stove black or paint to conceal the crack. You also want to have some witness neighbor who will testify that you used it right up until you removed it for replacement and that the replacement was for your back problems. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have your doctor shoot you some written memo to that effect. That will go a long way towards showing your real intent. Also remember this. Since said crack is deep down inside there is really no way that you could be expected to know before hand, how the heck could you. Last of all she AND her boyfriend inspected it before buying it used and none of you saw any cracks so she is not going to win. Believe me, she is shopping for a free stove and has her lawyer on speed dial...............She's bluffin, call her on it.
    At the mediation meeting make darned sure you make these facts clear and you probably want to float her the offer one more time to either bring it back or have it welded by a normal welder charging a NORMAL price to fix this crack for under $100 just to end the thing right then and there. She probably won't go for it though either as she has to pay for her "professional witnesses". What that will do though is show that you bent over backwards for an unreasonable person who is clearly trying to work the system. It all goes towards that PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE that will work in your favor if it plays out to a real court appearance.
  7. FrankG23

    FrankG23 New Member

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    Her boyfriend was there and inspected it. It was in good working condition when I sold it to her though.
  8. Biff_CT2

    Biff_CT2 Member

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    Countersuit for defamation? Are you for real? That is extremely bad advice.

    Defamation law varies by state. Some states have statutes, some have judge made law. Regardless of the source of defamation law, the nuances of defamation can be expected to vary from state to state. As such, you cannot suggest off the cuff that the seller here bring a defamation suit without knowing the home states of the parties.

    Moreover, defamation, regardless of the which state is involved requires publication to a third party. Here, the poster has not indicated that the purchaser has spoken to anyone other the seller regarding the cracked stove. As such, it's challenging to assert that the buyer has defamed the buyer by complaining about the condition of the stove; there's no publication of the defamatory material by the buyer. If anything, the seller is on the verge of defaming the buyer with publicizing the dispute here - though I think such a claim would be weak without more than what's been posted here.

    Finally, truth is generally a defense to a claim of defamation. As the seller's comments here reflect, the seller did not inspect the stove for cracking. As such, were someone inquire into whether the buyer or seller is telling the truth, it would at best be 'awkward' to suggest that the stove had no crack when the buyer picked it up when the seller has written here that he did not in fact inspect the stove for serviceablity prior to the sale.

    And, under certain circumstances, bringing a meritless suit (as suggested here) can result in the plaintiff and plaintiff's attorney being santctioned and/or fined.

    A better suggestion would be for the seller and buyer to discuss it. It's possible that the crack occurred during shipment, during install, or during use by the buyer as well as being an existing defect at the time of sale. You simply cannot know. As always, being reasonable is smart. Being a hardass in response to the telephone call is foolish - particularly if this ever does go to small claims court.

    I wonder about these sort of cracked stove sales. I read on here fairly regularly about folks overfiring a stove and others talking about sellikng used stoves. I can't recall anyone mentioning scrapping a stove due to overtemping it or cracking. Which is why I wouldn't fool around with a used unit under any circumstances.
  9. FrankG23

    FrankG23 New Member

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    I have my electric bill that doubled the month after she bought it. Also my wife will be with me, and used it with me every day before we sold it. She got served as well, even though she wasn't there, or owns the home. I bought it 4 years before we got married.

    She mailed a DEMAND LETTER, stating 3 options, 300$ to fix it, come down to her house and give her the money back, or magistrate's office. Never sent a repair bill estimate.
  10. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    cast is still but a few minutes to fix...
    maybe a little bit of preheating, but definitely not $1260 worth.
    or even $100.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Except me.

    No way would I have sold my old stove to anybody with a busted weld in it. Even though it was hidden.
  12. jerseykat1

    jerseykat1 New Member

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    Is her boyfriend a professional?
    I think they are trying to bluff you dont fold. Find out what losing would cost you in the odd event that you would lose in court, like was stated by another member maybe you should sit in on a few cases in your courthouse to get familiar with the process of cases similar to yours.
  13. FrankG23

    FrankG23 New Member

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    My evidence is, I been using it for 6 years every winter, almost every day in the winter, Me and my wife kept the stove going non stop almost always up to 1 week before selling it. I even looked at after she called for so called "Cracks" inside and out, never saw anything. Her and her boyfriend looked for defects as well, I turned it on for her as well to show the motor worked. I don't know what else proves my point.
  14. jerseykat1

    jerseykat1 New Member

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    heavy items such as stoves/furnaces are VERY often damaged in transport.
  15. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I would probably high-tail it down to the city/county library, hit the books and find the statute where cash as-is sales are defined. I fear your wife's testimony won't carry much weight as she has obvious interest in your side. I doubt the home depot ad or your electric bill will bear much weight either. Why did you sell such an expensive appliance which was saving you so much electricity for such a low price? Did you know it was failing and want to dump it off before problems arose? (not saying you did, but she cold easily ask this question - as she apparently has the court system on speed dial)

    Ideally, you need the statute, and a copy to hand to the judge, you need to indicate they had ample time to inspect it and it was they who were satisfied at the purchase and you did not say things like 'no you can't look there', or 'don't open the door' , etc. Might have been good to at least offer the refund if they brought it back...you probably don't need to, but still shows good faith on your part. If you buy a TV and it craps out, you don't call the store and say 'hey come get this thing and give me my money back' You box it back up and take it back yourself. I don't think anyone would expect a private sale to go above and beyond that.

    Either way, good luck - just don't expect it to be like Judge Judy / Wapner.
  16. FrankG23

    FrankG23 New Member

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    It is the law, only can I be at fault if I knowingly mis-represented it. Which in fact I didn't. I told her everything I Knew, I looked inside and outside, just like her and her boyfriend and never saw anything wrong with it. It worked great for use until we sold it.

    If my wife's testimony doesn't count, why should her boyfriends?
  17. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    If you could get a statement from your doc to the effect that your back doesn't want to sling firewood around all day anymore, that would give good a good answer to the `why did you sell this' question.

    Umm. . . you didn't mention to them that hearth.com was a great place to turn to for advice, did you?
  18. loon

    loon Minister of Fire

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  19. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Ya know, this thread isn't really going anywhere. These forums are all about woodburners and there's a boatload of good advice and experience to be had here pertaining to the topic. These forums are NOT about legal advice. I'm thinking about shutting the thread down at this point...in fact, the more I think about it, I'm thinking it's overdue. Come back to us later with an update if you like. Good luck. Rick
  20. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    OK, folks...I re-opened this thread, so you all can continue to fail to resolve this issue. Have a ball. Rick
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Well this one time on Perry Mason . . .

    Not much to add here since I am most definitely not a legal eagle . . . but I do know that I have always sold my old cars, ATV, snowmobile, etc. specifically "as is" and have written that it into the bill of sale . . . I have also told folks right up front what I know is wrong with an item. Never have had an issue selling stuff that way.
  22. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    At this point, I'm mostly interested in hearing what actually happens instead of the "do this" or "do that" mumbo jumbo....
  23. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    In the post above where I shut down this thread, I encouraged the OP to update us in the future when the thing is resolved. Rick
  24. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    +1


    (There, Rick, is that better!!??!!?? hahahaha, I crack me up--->work is slow today...)
  25. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    LOL
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