If Ibought a truck from an individual and it hasn’t been working right sinceI bought it, what are my chances of taking him to court?

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If Ibought a truck from an individual and it hasn’t been working right sinceI bought it, what are my chances of taking him to court?

I bought my truck on 10/19/10. When I got back from the DMV that same day to put my tags on it, the truck messed up. It has been messing up ever since I bought it. My boyfriend and I have tried everything to get my truck from grinding but nothing has been working. The guy we bought it from said that gear oil would fix it. It didn’t and when I called him to get my money back he told me he can’t do it. Before we bought the truck he said he would fix it and he never did. Will I have a chance at taking him to court to get my money back?

Asked on October 24, 2010 under General Practice, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

If it was a used tgruck bought from a private citizen, you might *not* have recourse against him--it depends on the circumstances. You'd only have grounds to sue and recover if:

1) He guaranteed the truck would work or offered some sort of warranty

2) Possibly your best argument: if he promised to fix the truck as part of the deal, then fixing the truck is part of the contract and he has to honor it; or if he promised to fix it as an inducement to you to buy the truck but knowingly and intentionally lied to you about that (e.g. never had an intention of fixing it), that might be fraud in the inducement and give you grounds to sue.

3) Similarly, if he knowingly and intentionally lied about the shape the truck was in, claiming it was in better repair then he knew it was, that might be a lie and fraud, too.

In essence, you have to either show that a promise to fix was part of the contract or that he knowingly and deliberately lied either before or at the time of the deal, in some significant way. If everything was oral or verbal, however, as a practical matter, this can be difficult to show.

Good luck.

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