Consumer Protection Law

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A few years back I purchased over 1,000 FORGED IRON Authentic

reproductions of Century Old House...
A few years back I purchased over 1,000 FORGED IRON Authentic reproductions of Century Old House Numbers. The Massachusetts Company has been making U.S. made Forged Iron products for nearly a Century and thats all they make. They were selling the numbers at $20 each and I worked out a deal to buy all their left over stock and re-sell them on my Ebay store for half the original price of $10 each. Over about 3 years they have been selling great! I was happy and my customers were happy. I only have about 100 of the these Forged Iron House numbers left. One of my customers from Ebay emails me and states that these Forged Iron House Numbers are not Forged Iron! He is a welder and he knows they are not Forged Iron. I figure that I got some nut on my hands, and I tell him he can confirm the product's quality through the Manufacturer. He kept emailing and insisting that they are fake and not Forged Iron. When he welded them, they just melted!
I call the Manufacturer and ask how do I prove to this guy that your product is Forged Iron? They tell me First, They were not made to be welded.They have screw holes and screws and only made to be screwed on. Secondly, They are not Forged Iron!!! They were made in India and who knows what blend of metal they were made from? I said what? You're killing me here! I have been representing your product on my Ebay store as the last of the real deal, Forged Iron Made in the USA, as it clearly states on your packaging. He asks me how many do I have left? I told him, and he says send them back and we will repackage them for you so they won't say Forged Iron or made in the USA! I said what about my other hundreds of customers? I have to offer them a refund. I sold them a product that I believed was Forged Iron and made in the USA, but unknowingly misrepresented the product. How will I reimburse them? They said: I'd keep my mouth shut if I were you.
Do I have legal recourse in my situation to be paid enough for my time and effort and allow all my customers to be reimbursed and pay their return shipping, etc. I'd need about $10K to cover it all. How would I go about it? Thank you.
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Answered in 2 hours by:
9/13/2013
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,054
Experience: Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
Verified

Dwayne B. :

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Dwayne B. :

You asked " Do I have legal recourse in my situation to be paid enough for my time and effort and allow all my customers to be reimbursed and pay their return shipping, etc. "

Dwayne B. :

You can sue for the damages you have suffered. Most judges would allow you to recover a reasonable hourly fee for the work you have to do in issuing the refunds, paying for return shipping, etc.

Dwayne B. :

Or if you hire someone to handle all of that then you can recover the amount that you pay them to do it.

Dwayne B. :

Since it is a breach of contract and/or fraud issue you could also sue for your attorney's fees involved in bringing the case. You cannot recover any amount of money for your time in court, looking for a lawyer, etc.

Dwayne B. :

One issue you are going to have to face is venue, which means where the lawsuit is brought.

Dwayne B. :

You can bring it where the seller is located and be completely safe. If you bring the lawsuit in CA then there is a chance that a judge will say that you should have brought the case in MA.

Dwayne B. :

There is no definitive answer as to which court has jurisdiction and venue because it depends on not only all of the facts but also that specific judge. Some are ruling that purchases made over the internet can be sued on in the county where the buyer was located when they made the purchase, where the objects were delivered, or where the instrument was presented for payment. However, other judges are ruling that you must bring the cases where the defendant was located.

Dwayne B. :

Your first step is to talk to a local lawyer and see what your specific judge or judges would be likely to rule as far as venue of the case.

Customer:

I wonder if I hire a lawyer to send a threatening letter to sue if that might do it?

Dwayne B. :

Possibly. My guess is after what they said to you that it won't work but the lawyer will definitely send a demand notice first anyway.

Customer:

I see, thank you. At least I'll talk to a local lawyer and see if it looks good to them.

Dwayne B. :

You should have a very, very good chance of winning any lawsuit, the issues is where you bring it.

Customer:

Yes, Thanks for pointing that out!

Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,054
Experience: Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
Verified
Dwayne B. and 87 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Best wishes to you!
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Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR DWAYNE B” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thanks

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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,054
34,054 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.

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