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Lawyer Needed

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Old 07-03-2004, 11:17 AM
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Default Lawyer Needed

WE BOUGHT A 1990/2001 31 A.T. THAT WAS SUPPOSE TO BE TOTALLY UPDATED AND RE-RIGGED IN 2001 WITH OVER $300,000 INVESTED WHICH INCLUDED FRESH 1150HP 580's with dyno time only, 25k paint job, boxes with speedmaster #4's with upgrades. Boat was to have 230 original hours. Seller stated in add (very good condition-meticulously maintained) and (boat is turn key and runs in the triple digits). Seller informed me that everything had been gone though motors, drives, transmissions, no stress cracks, said boat was turn key and ran 124mph on gps. After buying the boat we could not make it one day without breaking down. We found out that the boat is set up the same as it was in 1990 by the original owner. We bought it from the second owner. The one drive broke after about 8 hrs and the so called up grades were a cobbled together #4 with #3 parts in it. One motor had a broken bellhousing, starter and ring gear. We broke a timming cain and much more. Last fall we tore the boat down to go though it and found out that the motors, drive and everything was wore right out. We have invested over $50,000.00 to get the boat back to the condition he said it was in and the boat is still not done. And the balk head and one off the stringers are broke. If anyone could give us any names and numbers of any lawyers it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Heath
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Old 07-03-2004, 11:16 PM
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Arrow Re: Lawyer Needed

#1. Get the boat professionally surveyed in detail.

#2. Most lawyers can handle this case, but having a survey in hand will get you an opinon quicker and plan a course of action easier. There are attorneys that specialize in manufacturing defects.

#3. I usually do not recommend lawyers but I do know of a firm in Detroit called Charfoos and Christensen PC. They handled and won the Korean Airliner case against the Russians some time back. They handle product defects and liability. They are always open to reviewing a case and they are the best folks I know of for your situation. An opinion is as easy as a fax and phone call away. Ask for Larry Charfoos.

http://www.charfooschristensenpc.com/
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Old 07-04-2004, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Lawyer Needed

I don't know, you bought a 10 year old used boat, ran it for a year, and now want to go after the seller (if I'm reading your post correctly). Not trying to be mean, but sounds like a lack of due diligence on your part - didn't you run the boat *before* you bought it? Did you get a survey? If bulheads and stringers are separating, I'd imagine that any competent surveyor could have caught those types of problems.

Caveat emptor
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Old 07-04-2004, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Lawyer Needed

we did have a survay. But did not know the survayer. And we never got to run the boat last year. We were only able to get about 15 hours of running the boat before we gave up and had to tare it down. And we tryed to get the seller to help us a little and he was a a** about the whole thing. Told us that it was are problem now and not to call him again. We should have asked around about the boat and seller before buying but we were just getting back into boating and did not know of sites like this one. We have now found out that this guy has done this type of thing before. We know we bought a 10 year old boat. It would not come to this if he would have told us that the boat might need some work and not tell us that it was totaly redone and dyno time only. Just looking for some help. thanks
Heath
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Old 07-04-2004, 03:08 PM
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Fax your survey and a letter to any attorney and follow up with a phone call. A letter from an attorney may be all that's needed to begin resolving your problem. The survey company has insurance to cover these matters if they messed up. That's where your best hope lies. No survey and it's your word against the sellers. They usually win in disputes like this or you win a small amount. The burden of assembling the facts and proof is yours because the judge would be looking at a perponderance of evidence. You need lots of documentation to win a case like this. Either you have it or you don't. All used boats ought be surveyed unless you have lots of experience with fiberglass and mechanicals. Even then its cheap insurance. Another rule is don't buy a boat unless you sea test it or a survey company sea tests it. That's a must if you have to go to court. Judges want facts and documentation. You win or loose many times not because of the merit of a case but because of lack of documentation. Attorney's fees for a case like this will probably a consideration if the survey company dosen't cover it. You may want to cut your losses if it looks like the attorney wants an hourly schedule. Be sure to get an estimate of attorney fees. Most will take a case like this on an hourly basis. Probably between $125 and $200/hr. You can easily have attorney fees of $20- $30,000 with a low chance for recovery.

Remember, you are accusing the sellers of fraud. That's a big thing to do and they will probably have a lawyer involved as well. The the $$ flies out of your pocket. I would not use an attorney unless he/she took the case on a contigent basis. Even then as the legal battle goes on your boat is in a storage yard. This could take a year easily to resolve if not more.

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Old 07-04-2004, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Lawyer Needed

The phrase "buyer beware" applies in this case.

This is indeed a fraud case, and it will be very difficult for you to prevail unless you documented the condition of the boat exactly as you received it. Good luck, and never, ever, buy a boat without the blessings of a known surveyor with a background in that type of vessel.

Once again,good luck.
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Old 07-05-2004, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Lawyer Needed

Buyer beware... except I hate liars.

Jim Witkowski says:
"It has half a tank"
Jim Witkowski means:
"I have no idea how much fuel it has, it always says half a tank, because the sending unit is bad, and I floored over it."

Jim Witkowski says:
"It was kept on a trailer in Tenn."
Jim Witkowski means:
"It was kept in the ocean, used in Maine until two years ago."


There's nothing I can do about the boat that I bought from the liar.

Most of the problems could not have been found in a survey.
Sold a good boat to buy a bad. Now I have to make it right, because I'm not going to screw the next guy. Even though she surveys well...

Survey the boat. Survey the owner's character if you can. Stretch out the dialog. Get to know him. Don't buy a boat from a person you would not have as a guest.

Next time I'll do better. I don't think either one of us can sue.
Still... hate to hear about it though.
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Old 07-05-2004, 12:46 AM
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I mean the Jim Witkowski in South Milwaukee with the Baja. If he's selling... don't buy it. Not all of those wonderful Jim Witkowski's of the world who are innocent. The rest are fine.
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Lawyer Needed

bshzba.....sounds like you will have a tough road on this. You had the boat surveyed. But, if you have issues with a cracked stringer and broken bulkhead, sounds like your real issue is with the surveyor missing items, not the person who sold the boat to you. You hired the surveyor. They gave it a thumbs up. You bought it. Unfortunately, this will be used against you in any litigation.

Now, if the owner blatantly misrepresented something that's a different situation. But, your description of the situation is very generic. When you write "everything had been gone through", what does this mean? Did you discuss this in detail? Did you ask for, or were you provided with reciepts? You state one drive broke after (8)hours, how was the boat run during those (8)hours? When it was torn down, what was the cause of failure? Did you water test the boat prior to purchasing it?

Unless you're going to go after the surveyor that you hired, no point in getting the boat surveyed again. Good luck.
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Old 07-07-2004, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: Lawyer Needed

where are you located? email me at [email protected]
 
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