2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Monday, February 7, 2011

Caveat Emptor - 1978 John Deere 1830 "in very good condition"

In September 2008, the Defendant had advertised for sale in the Western Producer a 1978, 1830 John Deere tractor, indicating, among other things that it was in very good condition. The Plaintiff contacted the Defendant by telephone, who confirmed that it was in good condition. The parties arranged for the Plaintiff to attend at the Defendant’s place to examine the tractor. Having done so, the parties negotiated a sale of the tractor, on September 29, 2008, for the sum of $8,800.00. No written contract or bill of sale was signed by the parties.

In a civil action in the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, the Plaintiff claimed that between the date of purchase and when these proceedings were commenced, roughly twenty-one months later, the tractor had very light service. In the interim, however, the Plaintiff had been required to spend $593.53 on the hydraulic cylinders. As well, in the spring of 2010, the tractor had been examined by a mechanic who confirmed that the rear of the engine block was cracked, and had been re-welded. As well there was a hole in the side of the engine block that had been patched by pieces of metal and covered up with silicone. Further, the steering mechanism was such that it was too dangerous to drive.

Therefore the Plaintiff claimed that the Defendant had engaged in misrepresentation of the mechanical condition of the tractor at the material time. He sought recission of the contract (cancellation), with a return to him of the purchase price and related expenses.

The Plaintiff, however, was unable to prove that the Defendant had misrepresented the state of the tractor at the time of purchase.  The Plaintiff did not call the mechanic who had examined the tractor as a witness.  On that basis, the Court declined to rescind the contract and found that the principle of caveat emptor (buyer beware) also applied.

Read the decision at: Suwinski v. Wiebe.