Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you with your legal question today. I am sorry to learn of this transaction involving your parent's purchase, but I do need a little more information to assist in understanding what potential causes of action would apply should this matter go to court.
You are almost certainly correct regarding the fact that the lemon law does not apply here (you can review the Florida Lemon Law statute information here and see if it does apply, but it is very narrow when it comes to used vehicles: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/lemonlaw)
The two causes of action that would likely apply in this situation would be (1) fraud, and (2) breach of contract. Depending on whether or not your parents inspected the vehicle prior to purchase (or what questions they asked or information they were given prior to purchase) a fraud claim may apply. Also, depending on what the contract stated - in this case, it sounds as if they may have a good claim that the son provided an addendum to the contract agreeing to fix the damaged parts.
To prove fraud, your parents must show (1) that a false statement was made or was concealed; (2) that they relied on that fact; (3) that they suffered damages. If they can show these basic elements, that will create a strong case for fraud.
To prove a breach of contract, they will have to show that they bargained for something they did not receive (meaning they either contracted for a non-damaged vehicle in the first place, or they refused receipt based on the representation that the damaged parts would be fixed - the second clause requires that they show they had a right to refuse delivery).
This matter would likely fall under the jurisdiction of small claims court in Florida, and they can proceed without an attorney (if litigation is necessary) and with limited procedural rules and requirements: http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/self_help/smallclaims.shtml
Thank you. Great questions. I will find out the details and most likely be back for another session in the next couple of days.
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