When businesses in New Jersey feel compelled to pursue breach of contract claims, there may be concerns about the cost of the lawsuit. However, it’s important for companies to feel secure in the knowledge that the law may favor them if they have strong cases. For instance, their breach of contract claims could be against deceitful customers, as was the situation with a recent Garden State automobile dealership.
The auto dealership’s contention was that a man’s trade-in had a bad title. The man apparently told the dealership that he was the primary owner of the vehicle. Later, the dealership discovered that the man’s wife, from whom he was estranged, also legally owned the vehicle. The wife refused to sign the title, and the man was forced to bring back the vehicle he had gotten as part of his trade-in agreement.
At that point, the dealership sued the customer for new vehicle depreciation and other expenses. By all reports, the dealership had documentation to support its position that the dealership had been victimized. A Superior Court panel proved sympathetic toward the dealership. The dealership was not only awarded $15,000, but the customer must also pay $11,600 to cover their attorney fees.
Though this New Jersey case was unusual as far as breach of contract claims in that the business was suing the customer, and not the other way around, it proves a serious point. Namely, that companies do not have to take any kind of client misrepresentation or fraudulent actions lying down. Instead, they have the right to turn to the courts to mete out a just decision based on the facts at hand.
Source: autonews.com, “N.J. Chevy store’s win in customer fraud suit upheld“, Eric Freedman, Aug. 6, 2014