Can you reclaim payment if a textbook company gives false information about their textbook?

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2012

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Can you reclaim payment if a textbook company gives false information about their textbook?

If you purchased textbooks for a school with the understanding that there wouldn’t be a new textbook coming out in that series for another 6 years. Then the textbook company publishes 1 within 6 months of your purchase. Can you sue the textbook company to get back the money you paid or exchange those books for the updated textbook?

Asked on March 30, 2012 under General Practice, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The school could sue the textbook company for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.

The textbook company committed fraud by intentionally stating that no new edition of the textbook would be published for six years when in fact it knew that the new edition would be published sooner (in six months).  This false statement was made to induce the school to purchase the current edition and the school justifiably relied on the misrepresentation from the textbook company and purchased the current edition.  The school would not have purchased the current edition if it had known that a new edition would be published in six months.

The school's damages (monetary compensation it is seeking in its lawsuit for fraud) would be the out-of-pocket loss, what it paid for the books.  As to whether or not the books could be exchanged for the new edition, that would be something to consider as a potential settlement of the case.


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