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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 7629
Experience:  Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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In July 2011, I purchased a used vehicle from a Maryland new

Customer Question

In July 2011, I purchased a used vehicle from a Maryland new car dealership. The CARFAX report showed that the vehicle had one previous owner and that this dealership was the only service provider. The car was just totaled in accident. When I received the CCC Title report from the insurance company, the report showed that the vehicle was in a collision in 2010. There are CARFAX entries immediately before and after the reported date of the collision. I was told that the car had never been in an accident and I believe that the incident was deliberly not reported or deleted from the CARFAX report. I paid a premium of ~$17K for the 2007 Mazda 3 hatchback. Do I have a potential claim? Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

A few minutes please as I am looking into this.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

A fraudulent cause of action may be brought if an individual or a business purposefully conceals or misrepresents information that is relevant to the transaction. The statute of limitations for commencing such an action is 3 years from the date of discovery of the fraud. Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 5-101.

However, if the information could not have been discovered despite due diligence/reasonable care, the statute of limitations can be "tolled" (or paused) until such a time that the court determines the person should have been able to discover the fraudulent act.

The elements for a fraud cause of action are as follows:

(1) a material representation was made, (2) the
representation was false, (3) when the speaker made the representation, he knew it was false or made it
recklessly without knowledge of the truth as a positive assertion, (4) the speaker made it with the intention that it
should be acted upon by the party, (5) the party acted in reliance upon it, and (6) the party thereby suffered
injury.

The plaintiff has the burden of proving the above.

For fraud, the damages are typically the difference between the price paid, and what the item is worth if it was in the condition as represented (ie no accidents).

However, if the insurance, for example, pays out on a claim for the full value of the car (what it is worth today), the court will generally not allow for additional damages because it would be considered a windfall (the consumer already recovered the full value in today's dollars; so unless the value was discounted because of the prior accident, the court would consider that generally to be full satisfaction).

A complaint can also be filed against the dealer: one moment please.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Here's that link:

http://www.mva.maryland.gov/businesses/investigations/consumer-complaint-instruction-sheet.htm

If the damages are less than $5000, small claims would be the court with jurisdiction - information here:

http://www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/smallclaims.pdf

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