What can we do if a man sold my son a phone for $530 and said that it was new but it was not?

UPDATED: Feb 3, 2015

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What can we do if a man sold my son a phone for $530 and said that it was new but it was not?

Upon arrival, my son tried turning on the phone which didn’t. We tried to contact him for some days but he didn’t reply until 2 days later. I then took the case to the police. They were able to identify the man but recommend that I pursue this in a civil court. The problem is that he did not turn on the phone in front of the guy so it’s difficult to prove the phone was not broken before. There is an official report from the manufacturer that says the phone is water damaged. Do I have a good case or not, and since my son is only 17 do you think we can bring up the fact that he has the right to disaffirm contracts.

Asked on February 3, 2015 under Business Law, Colorado


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do have a good case.

Although you are correct that as a minor, your son can disaffirm the contract, that would not be the best approach here.

You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son because a minor cannot file a lawsuit himself.

You can sue the seller of the phone for breach of contract and fraud.  These are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit filed on behalf of your son.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in the lawsuit) would be the amount paid for the phone.


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