SW Legal Educational Publishing

Sale of Used Boat with Hidden Major Defect Subject to Recission
Description Louisiana appeals court held that the purchase price of a used power boat, sold by a consumer to a consumer, should be refunded since the boat contained major defects that rendered it useless and the defects could not be uncovered by a person not skilled in examining such equipment.
Topic Sales
Key Words Warranty, Used Products, Redhibition, Recission
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The Crows bought a 19-year old power boat and trailer from the Lauries for $2,500. Afterwards, a repair shop told the Crows that a crack had been filled with silicone and that wood under a layer of fiberglass was rotten. The boat should not be put in the water as it could sink. The Crows demanded the boat be repaired or their money refunded. The Lauries refused. The Crows sued; trial court held for the Lauries, ruling that the Crows had a duty to inspect before purchase. The Crows appealed.
Decision Reversed. "Redhibition is the avoidance of a sale on account of some vice or defect in the thing sold which renders it either absolutely useless, or its use so inconvenient and imperfect, that it must be supposed that the buyer would not have purchased it, had he known of the vice." Under Louisiana law, that applies in this instance as the buyers could not, by ordinary inspection, uncover the defect. There is a warranty against redhibitory defects that applies to the sale of used equipment in such cases. Rescission is the proper remedy; the Lauries will repay the Crows the purchase price of $2,500.
Citation Crow v. Laurie, 1999 WL 99069 (Slip Copy, Ct. App., La.)

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