SW Legal Educational Publishing

My Boy Is So Successful He Always Gives Me New Cadillacs!
Description Elderly woman "given" a series of new Cadillacs her son stole from the dealership he worked at is liable to the dealership for conversion.
Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words Conversion
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Over eight years, Thomas Weaver and three other employees stole 60 vehicles from DeLorean. Three of the vehicles were given by Thomas to his mother, Bertha Weaver. Thomas told her that the cars (new Cadillacs), which he titled in his name, were demos that he was allowed to use. Among other actions, DeLorean sued Bertha Weaver for conversion for the three vehicles she had in her possession over seven years. Weaver was 79 years old; her sole income is social security, state retirement, food stamps, and Medicaid. Trial court granted summary judgment for DeLorean. Damages of $28,294 plus interest awarded for the value of the vehicles used by Bertha Weaver. She appealed.
Decision Affirmed. "Appellant used appellee's property, the automobiles, without the authorization or permission of DeLorean, depriving DeLorean of the right to possession." The fact that Bertha Weaver may have believed the cars were gifts from her son makes no difference. "Mistake or good faith is not a defense to conversion."
Citation DeLorean Cadillac, Inc. v. Weaver, 1997 WL 607533 (App. 8 Dist., Ohio)

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