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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25431
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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Hello, i recently bought a watch (7000 USD) from ebay (but

Customer Question

Hello, i recently bought a watch (7000 USD) from ebay (but paid outside of ebay)

When I received the package there was no watch in the box. The seller had insurance on the box but UPS states there was no damage to the box.

So, I want to sue the sender (i suspect he jkust sent the empty box with a book in it himself)

How do I proceed?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

It will depend on the sellers location. You mention Shipped from FL...is the seller located in FL?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I blieve so, the return address was from Florida. Im trying to figure out how to get my money back and if/where to file a police report?


 


 

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
If they seller is in FL you have to file suit in Florida.

But tell me this, did you pay with a credit card or paypal? If so, have you requested they reverse the charges?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I wish I did, but I made a bank transfer. Is there some kind of consumer protection law? I live in Switzerland making it a bit more complicated but I'm certaionly not going to let this guy off the hook

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
How much money are we talking about?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


7200 USD

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you

Since the seller is in Florida, the suit must be filed in Florida. This has to do with jurisdiction. In the US, contract disputes are resolved under state law. If the person who did this is in Florida, then to keep jurisdiction, you need to file in court in Florida.

You have a few options

1. If you can figure out who the seller was? And are willing to settle for $5K? Then you can save the cost of a lawyer and file this claim in small claims court. Under Florida law, you can sue for up to $5K.

But it does require you file this yourself...and since the small claims limit in Florida is $5K you would be limited to that amount.

2. You can have a local (Florida) attorney filed this claim for you in Florida in district court. If you file in district court, you can file for your entire loss ($7.2K). And the lawyer can do this for you (so you pay the lawyer and they take care of the rest)

The down side is that you have to pay the lawyer. And you can not sue for your lawyers fees (since under US law, in most cases, each side must pay their own lawyers fees)

So there are your choices.

I would contact a few florida attorneys...you can find them here at the attorney referral service

Phone(NNN) NNN-NNNN
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


To see what they will charge to file this for you.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 


Thank yo so much!


 


I dont live in Florida and I believe I would have to go to court myself with a small claims suit. Which route has a better chance of winning and what would (roughly) be the cost of the lawyer?


 


If it costs 2200USD in fees - I wouldnt have to do the work I can still get 5k. Also if I go with a lawyer, will the other person also have to pay a lawyer? If he represents himself will he have a smaller chance of winning?


 


Im trying to figure out which route to go. Even if I dont get much money I want to make his life hell and costly (if thats all I can do)


 


Also what instruments are in place to get the money back if I win the lawsuit? Small claims vs with a lawyer?


 


So i have 3 options right:



  • Ask him to settle (both of us have least hassle)

  • Small claims (i would get max 5k but lot of my time used)

  • Use lawyer


Should I propose these 3 options to the seller ?


 


Thank you very much!!


 


 


 

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Yes...you have it correct. You have 3 options


#1 Ask him to settle (both of us have least hassle)

#2 Small claims (i would get max 5k but lot of my time used)

#3 Use lawyer


Understand that if #1 does not work initially, it may be that after you file the suit, they have more incentive to settle.

SO you can file this yourself in small claims, but you then have to prosecute the case yourself...in such a case you have to ensure that the defendant is served notice (you can pay someone to do this for you).

Or you can have a lawyer do this for you.

Regardless when you win, the court will issue a judgment which is an order to pay, but to enforce that, you may need to again return to court (to get the court to order garnishment of assets to satisfy the judgment).

So if you hire a lawyer, they can do all this for you, but at a cost. How much? That will depend on the lawyer. You will want to talk to several to get an idea. I would estimate fees between $2K-$5K. Again, you can not sue for legal fees...so if it costs $3K and you win a $7K judgment, you net $4K.

But back to the first question...your options. It may be you hire a lawyer and file suit and they settle....you want to make sure that your contract with the lawyer allows for this (they give you a lower fee structure if there is early settlement)






P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25431
Experience: 16 yrs. of trial experience
P. Simmons and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Another thought - if I go with a lawyer, what are the steps and things needed from the other guy? What is his incentive to want to settle?


 


I fell that with a small claims suit he will just not take it serious. If a lawyer gets inovled how will this impact his day-to-day life?


 


Thanks, never been inovlved in any kind of legal issue so its all new to me. Im pretty sure he scammed me (not UPS) so i really want to make his life hell for being dishonest (probably wont see much money out of it)

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
The incentive comes from the threat of loss of money. If you file suit and the other guy realizes he will likely loose (and have to pay) then you have leverage to induce a settlement.

If you sue him and you have a lawyer, that forces him to hire his own lawyer to seek settlement. So once you file this with a lawyer, you have leverage to force him to settle.

As for impact on his day to day life? Really there is not much...suits play out over months of time. So day to day the impact is not much. But if he looses and has to pay? That would impact him.

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