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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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I purchased a truck from a private seller on craigs list.

Customer Question

I purchased a truck from a private seller on craigs list. i have the original post saved witch states that the truck is fine, it needs nothing and is ready to drive. i also have testimony of two witnesses that heard him lie about it never bing in an accident. there was nothing written that it was as is. i was rushed when looking the truck over and the second, final time i looked it over, before i purchased the truck for 10,500 he had ran it up and down a dirt road (to hide the enormous structural damage) i did an accident report, on to the contrary, the vehicle was in a moderate to severe accident where the truck was hit, ran off road, struck a tree and overturned. i asked multiple times if the truck was ever in an accident and how the frame was and he assured me multiple times everything was fine. there is no excuse for him not knowing, as he was the first and only owner of the truck. along with the witnesses of money transaction and questions asked, i have one, possibly two mechanics that can testify that there is severe damage, and with the frame being as dirty as it was, to an untrained eye it would be very difficult to spot where the frame had been welded back together. i want to sue for total cost for the truck, state tax and life endangerment. as i very well could have died in an accident had the shotty weld job malfunctioned on the road. i would like to know if i have a strong case here, because i am out all together, $11,250
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!

I am sorry to learn of your experience. Please clarify: is the seller located in Michigan as well?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes he is
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. The facts that you describe suggest possible claims of fraud or misrepresentation. The elements needed to prove such claims, in Michigan, are (different theories are listed below in bold):

M Civ JI 128.01 Fraud Based on False Representation

Plaintiff claims that defendant defrauded [him / her / it]. To establish fraud, plaintiff has the burden of proving each of the following elements by clear and convincing evidence:

Defendant made a representation of [a material fact / material facts].
The representation was false when it was made.
Defendant knew the representation was false when [he / she / it] made it, or defendant made it recklessly, that is, without knowing whether it was true.
Defendant made the representation with the intent that plaintiff rely on it.
Plaintiff relied on the representation.
Plaintiff was damaged as a result of [his / her / its] reliance.
Your verdict will be for the plaintiff (on the claim of fraud) if you decide that plaintiff has proved each of these elements by clear and convincing evidence.

Your verdict will be for the defendant (on the claim of fraud) if you decide that plaintiff has failed to prove any one of these elements by clear and convincing evidence.


M Civ JI 128.02 Fraud Based on Failure to Disclose Facts (Silent Fraud)

Plaintiff claims that defendant defrauded [him / her / it] by failing to disclose material facts. To establish this, plaintiff has the burden of proving each of the following elements by clear and convincing evidence:

Defendant failed to disclose [a material fact / material facts] about [Insert subject matter of the claim.].
Defendant had actual knowledge of the [fact / facts].
Defendant’s failure to disclose the [fact / facts] caused plaintiff to have a false impression.
When defendant failed to disclose the [fact / facts], defendant knew the failure would create a false impression.
When defendant failed to disclose the [fact / facts], defendant intended that plaintiff rely on the resulting false impression.
Plaintiff relied on the false impression.
Plaintiff was damaged as a result of [his / her / its] reliance.
Your verdict will be for the plaintiff (on the claim of fraud) if you decide that plaintiff has proved each of these elements by clear and convincing evidence.

Your verdict will be for the defendant (on the claim of fraud) if you decide that plaintiff has failed to prove any one of these elements by clear and convincing evidence.

M Civ JI 128.03 Fraud Based on Bad-Faith Promise

Plaintiff claims that defendant defrauded [him / her / it] by making a promise of future conduct. To establish this, plaintiff has the burden of proving each of the following elements by clear and convincing evidence:

Defendant promised that [Describe promise alleged by plaintiff.].
At the time defendant made the promise, [he / she / it] did not intend to keep it.
Defendant made the promise with the intent that plaintiff rely on it.
Plaintiff relied on the promise.
Plaintiff was damaged as a result of [his / her / its] reliance.
Your verdict will be for the plaintiff (on the claim of fraud) if you decide that plaintiff has proved each of these elements by clear and convincing evidence.

Your verdict will be for the defendant (on the claim of fraud) if you decide that plaintiff has failed to prove any one of these elements by clear and convincing evidence.


M Civ JI 128.04 Innocent Misrepresentation

Plaintiff claims that defendant made an innocent misrepresentation of material fact. To establish this, plaintiff has the burden of proving each of the following elements:

Defendant made a representation of [a material fact / material facts].
The representation was made in connection with the making of a contract between plaintiff and defendant.
The representation was false when it was made.
Plaintiff would not have entered into the contract if defendant had not made the representation.
Plaintiff had a loss as a result of entering into the contract.
Plaintiff’s loss benefited the defendant.
Your verdict will be for the plaintiff (on the claim of innocent misrepresentation) if you decide that plaintiff has proved each of these elements.

Your verdict will be for the defendant (on the claim of innocent misrepresentation) if you decide that plaintiff has failed to prove any one of these elements.
___________________________
Any suit you filed would be in the general civil division of district court. The court filing fee is $150.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied with your information needs. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things.

If you have a follow-up question, please reply and ask it.

If you are satisfied that your question has been answered, kindly select the ACCEPT button to close this thread and so that I receive credit for assisting you today.
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JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience: Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
JB Umphrey and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
okay, thank you for this information. so if i am reading this correctly, and i understand nothing is promised in the courts, but it looks like i will have a strong case in small claims court, right?
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Not in small claims court. The most you can sue for in Michigan small claims court is $3,000.

The damages that you've described is more than $3K so you would sue in the general civil division of the district court (held in the same courthouse as small claims, though).

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
okay thank you.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
You are most welcome. Have a good day!

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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey
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Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.