ILNews

No cash refund required for defective chest of drawers, COA rules

Marilyn Odendahl
September 30, 2013
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Although the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that the adage “buyer beware” did not apply, it still found that a customer who discovered a defect in a piece of furniture after purchase was not entitled to a cash refund.

The Court of Appeals concluded the trial court erred in ordering Trisler to reimburse Carter for the purchase price in Tom Trisler d/b/a/ Canal House Antiques v. Clayton L. Carter, 35A02-1302-SC-192.

Carter demanded a refund after he found nails sticking out the back of a chest of drawers he had bought from Canal House Antiques. Trisler offered Carter a store credit instead.

Small Claims Court issued a judgment for Carter in the amount of $170 plus court costs of $92. Trisler appealed, asserting Carter was not entitled to a refund because there was not an expressed or implied warranty requiring the store to return the purchase price.

In considering Trisler’s argument, the Court of Appeals found it relied on caveat emptor, or buyer beware. However, the COA stated the appropriate guide for settling the issue was the Indiana Uniform Commercial Code.

On the basis of the U.C.C., the Court of Appeals ruled Carter did not buy the bureau on the assumption that any defect would be fixed. Carter made no allegation that Trisler prevented him from inspecting the chest of drawers in the store and Carter found the nails only while he was cleaning the piece of furniture.

Consequently, the Court of Appeals held that the U.C.C. does not apply to allow Carter to revoke his acceptance of the chest of drawers and be paid a cash refund.   
 

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