If we recently sold a healthy pup which got sick 2 weeks after and put down, what to do ifbuyer wants to take us to court?

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If we recently sold a healthy pup which got sick 2 weeks after and put down, what to do ifbuyer wants to take us to court?

We recently sold a 9 week old pup, fully vet checked with vaccinations, and 3 weeks after we received a letter from the buyer’s vet stating pup came in sick. It gave 6 possible causes, only 2 pf which had a small chance of coming from us; the buyer decided to put it down instead of getting it diagnosed. Now the lady either wants her money back including vet charges or she is taking us to court. Does she have a case or have we done all we need to under our duty of care?

Asked on January 5, 2012 under Business Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unless you offered some warranty or guaranty, you'd most likely only be liable if you misrepresented the pup--that is, if you knowingly sold a sick puppy, or lied about the vacinations and other health care it had received.

That said, defending yourself from a lawsuit costs time and money; from what you write, the buyer would almost certainly be able to at least file a lawsuit against you, since it's plausible that you knew something was wrong if the pupppy became ill so quickly after the sale; therefore, even if you believe you'd win at the end of the day, you may wish to consider trying to settle with her as an alternative to facing litigation.


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