This question is in regard to a would-be purchaser's ability to sue for contract performance and/or damages when purchasing equipment and the dealership sells something they don't have the ability to sell, don't physically own or otherwise fail to provide due to negligent/fraudulent business practice.
A large national equipment dealership sells a purchaser a piece of farm equipment which was stated to be on consignment. The purchaser signed a simple one-page contract. The dealer accepted the offer and a deposit of earnest money. The contract was as follows:
- Contains full agreed on price and agreement to purchase as is, no odometer reading stated
- Contains pickup location and states that the purchaser will arrange shipping, no dates given
- Contains a standard (to the dealer) used equipment warranty
- Specifically states they are obligated to provide the equipment, but are released from liability where supply, shipping or manufacturing difficulties occur.
- Has no arbitration or attorney fee clause
The purchaser also received odometer picture same day implying I am buying equipment with x hours on it (the purchaser specifically requested this).
State of dealership: Minnesota
6 weeks goes by. The equipment is not ready to ship yet. The reason given by the dealer: The old owner consigning this does not want to let it go until he receives a new unit from South Korea and it is taking longer than expected due to covid! Furthermore, the purchaser discovers the equipment is back at the original owner's farm though, they "claim" they are not using it. Dealership informed the purchaser of an option to back out.
Ther season is now into the spring and it's impossible to get anything at all till fall. Ther purchaser will incur approximately $15k-$20k in rental fees for the summer + many hours lost dealing with this dealership and has not been searching for another similar equipment due to already being under written contract on this one.
Furthermore, what would be a logical (to a judge) judgement? Simply the amount of rental fees + the earnest money? Time and cost additional to dealing with a rental and taking them to court + attorney fees? Difference in price for something that is readily available / similar equipment?