Legal recourse on false information? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 34 Old 06-25-2008 Thread Starter
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Legal recourse on false information?

Okay, I'm frustrated as hell. I bought this boat sight unseen, well saw pictures on ebay and talked to the owner several times. The ad on ebay said it had a running motor, "I just did the valves on the engine and she is ready to go, this Atomic 4 will take you anywhere" (when in reality he did ONE valve on the engine and it hasn't run since) I asked him specifically several times is the motor running and he said yes every time.

I moved from New Mexico to Connecticut to live aboard and cruise New England for the summer. The motor DOESN'T run. I'm stuck on anchor in a river and I'm starting to lose my patience. He says he looking for a new motor but it's been over a month.

I know the saying buyer beware and I should have had surveryed but isn't there some legal recourse? I have the printed ebay listing that says it has a running motor?

I've told him I either want my money back or I want a running motor. But I fear that I'm going to be left holding the bag on this one.

What are my chances in court?
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post #2 of 34 Old 06-25-2008
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Did he ever tell you in front of a witness or put in writing that he was going to fix or replace the motor after you took possesion and it wouldn't start?

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post #3 of 34 Old 06-25-2008
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Did you pay through paypal in such a way that your purchase was warranted by them?
If not, I would at least start helping loook for a new engine or pulling that one out. Is the problem just the valves? pulling the head and relapping the valves can be done relatively inexpensively.

Just my opinion, I would rather be busy working to resolve the situation than sitting idle and stewing.

Kevin
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post #4 of 34 Old 06-25-2008
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Did you BUY it from the guy in the same STATE you are in? If so, then you may be able to win a judgement in small claims court against him based on the ad copy. (Up to $5k in most places.)
Get an written estimate from a mechanic on how much the repair will run...and bring that and the ad and notes on your conversations + any e-mails etc. that SHOW the owner comited to trying to find you a new engine etc. to court. No lawyers required.

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post #5 of 34 Old 06-25-2008
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did you get a good deal on it?

there is always bad feedback and ebay/paypal recourses, man. I know bad feedback doesn't get you much but you do have recourse.

meanwhile, are you living on the boat now? is the dude actively attempting to repair? What does he mean by "find" a new motor - are they not something that can be regularly found???? just curious.
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post #6 of 34 Old 06-25-2008
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If you like the boat, I agree with Honey, start doing something to fix/replace the engine. You could waste the entire summer trying to get blood out of a turnip, move on. You would have had some kind of problem with it anyway, that's a given with a used boat. Have a mechanic check the engine out to see if it is worth fixing, if not, start looking for a replacement. Life lesson- people lie, especially when they are trying to sell something. Harsh, yes. Unfair, surely. Reality, absolutely. Persue the legal aspect if you want, but unfortunately it seems likely to be a dead end.

Good luck, John been there......

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post #7 of 34 Old 06-25-2008
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Lega recourse? Yes. But since your sale involves two states and federal jurisdiction may also apply--GO SPEND A HUNDRED BUCKS ON A LAWYER. By all means, ask him about your options for small claims court in Connecticut, if that's where the boat was, and you are, and the owner lives. Document what you have, including screen captures from eBay or any correspondence. Anything you only have verbally--is nice but may not matter.

You an always buy a running or rebuilt Atomic4 "now" the only question is what it will cost. Sounds like the seller is either stalling you, or just doesn't want to shell out what one will cost.

Either way, accept that you need to pay for someone else's skills here--in this case, a lawyer who knows the jurisdiction you are in. Some of the chains may offer you a free consultation, or there may be a legal clinic that works for nearly free associated with a local law school, etc. It shouldn't cost you much to get a professional opinion of the circumstances--and without that, you are going to lose the summer, and probably lose your case.

Also call a couple of respected local boatyards (CT is full of them) and Moyer Marine down in Maryland. Ask Moyer what an engine will cost, shipped to you, or whether they know a local yard who can do the whole job. Take those numbers with you to the lawyer, so one of you can confront the owner and say "look, this is what it will cost to fix, would you rather pay up, or go to court and pay damages as well?" You might get the seller to pay up, leaving you to do the job the way you want it done.

And do not deal with the seller over the phone, from here on in, everything in writing.
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post #8 of 34 Old 06-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlowinSouth View Post
.....
I've told him I either want my money back or I want a running motor. But I fear that I'm going to be left holding the bag on this one.

What are my chances in court?
What did you pay for this boat?

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post #9 of 34 Old 06-26-2008
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Small claims court and any other legal action is going to take months, not days. Hire a mechanic and fix the engine you have. When you buy unseen and untested you get what you get.
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post #10 of 34 Old 06-26-2008
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Your best bet is to spend the money and get the engine fixed, while pursuing getting some money back from the owner based on his ad saying that the engine was in good working order. You need to document everything. Make a log in a hardbound notebook with dates, photos, records of conversations, receipts for expenses, etc.

Also, if you paid via Paypal or some form other than cash or check, you may have some remediation possibilities there. BTW, if you're buying something on eBay, you should never, ever pay cash or check. Always use Paypal or credit card. That way you have some leverage if the goods are not as claimed.

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