Can I sue someone for selling me broken items on craigslist?

UPDATED: May 26, 2012

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Can I sue someone for selling me broken items on craigslist?

In the text messages he described the tires as in good condition. I assumed that they work. After a visual inspection they looked good. We went to go get the rims fitted, only 2 of the 4 rims had tires so they couldn’t install them all. They took my rims off and threw the new rims on. Then they said the rims were a good fit for my car. I then gave him the money and went to another shop about 30 minutes away to get tires. Then I was told they we’re the wrong offset, and one was damaged beyond repair. I tried asking the seller for a refund but he said no because the money had been spent. Can I sue the tire place for lying being that the seller actually worked there.

Asked on May 26, 2012 under Business Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If someone misrepresents (lies about) goods they are selling you, you could sue them for monetary compensation or to rescind the transaction (e.g. return tires, get money back).

2) Even without a misrepresentation, unless you specifically purchased the tires "as is"--taking the risk they were defective--you are entitled to get merchantable (i.e. in good working condition) tires; selling you defective ones could constitute breach of contract, of the implied warranty of merchantabilty, and/or the UCC (Uniform Commercial Cocde), which would again give you the right to sue for monetary compensation.

3) If someone knowingly lied to defaud you--i.e. the tire shop, lying about how worked there--that person or business entity could also be liable to you for their fraud and/or unconscionable consumer conduct.

Therefore, you do likely have causes of action, or the ability to sue, the seller and possibly also the tire ship.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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