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Case No. A08A0889

by: Varsha Mandiga

Case No. A08A0889 BUSA 2106

Varsha Mandiga
GPA 4.0

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Case Briefs
Legal Environment Of Business
Class Notes
BUSA, 2106, GSU, Ryan
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Varsha Mandiga on Thursday March 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BUSA 2106 at Georgia State University taught by Grelecki in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views.


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Date Created: 03/10/16
Varsha Mandiga JOHNSON v. GAPVT MOTORS, INC. et al. FACTS Case No. A08A0889 th When: June 18 , 2008. Where: Court of Appeals of Georgia. Who: Appellant – Kris K. Skaar, Marietta.     Appellees – C. Davis Bauman, Clayton.             ELLINGTON, Judge.  What: The State Court of Cobb County granted the motion for summary judgment filed by GAPVT       Motors, Inc. in David Johnson's action for fraud and violations of Georgia's Fair Business       Practices Act in connection with his purchase of a car from GAPVT. Johnson appeals, and, for      the reasons that followed, the court reversed.  ISSUE(S)  If there is no evidence sufficient to create a genuine issue as to any essential element of  plaintiff's claim, that claim tumbles like a house of cards. All of the other disputes of fact are  rendered immaterial.  If the moving party discharges this burden, the nonmoving party cannot rest on its pleadings,  but rather must point to specific evidence giving rise to a triable issue.   In Late March 2005, at a sales meeting, the used car sales manager, Randy Rodriguez, told  the sales staff, including Henderson, that the car was a Mustang GT, not a Saleen, and that  prospective buyers should be advised accordingly.   Johnson learned that it was not a genuine Saleen. Within a few days of buying the car,  Johnson drove the car to GAPVT's dealership and tried to return the car. He handed the keys  to Rodriguez, but Rodriguez told him, “the deal's been done; that is your car,” dropped the  keys on the ground, and ordered Johnson to leave the lot.  o On June 16, 2005, Johnson returned the vehicle to the lot, left the keys, and mailed a  certified letter to GAPVT.   The letter stated that GAPVT's dealership had  “committed a fraud on” him when it sold him the car, misrepresenting it as a  Mustang Saleen.   Johnson Johnson contends that summary judgment on his fraud claim is not warranted  because material issues of fact remain as to each element of his claim. The court agreed.   Johnson contends that summary judgment on his claim under Georgia's Fair Business  Practices Act, OCGA § 10­1­390 et seq., is not warranted because material issues of fact  remain as to each element of his claim. The court agreed.  Johnson contends that summary judgment on his claim for attorney fees under OCGA §§ 13­ 6­11 and 10­1­399(a) is not warranted because of remaining material issues of fact.  RULE(S)  OCGA § 9­11­56. Summary judgment.   The five elements of fraud and deceit in Georgia are:  o (1) false representation made by the defendant;   o (2) scienter;   o (3) an intention to induce the plaintiff to act or refrain from acting in reliance by the  plaintiff;  o  4) justifiable reliance by the plaintiff;   o (5) damage to the plaintiff. ­   OCGA § 10­1­390. Short Title.  OCGA § 10­1­393. Unfair or deceptive practices in consumer transactions unlawful.  OCGA § 10­1­399. Civil or equitable remedies by individuals.   OCGA § 13­6­11. Recovery of expenses of litigation generally. ANAYLSIS   GAPVT concedes, the evidence is undisputed that GAPVT's agents knew that, although the  car had some of the outward appearance of a Mustang Saleen, the car was in fact a Mustang  GT. GAPVT's agents falsely represented to Johnson that the car was an authentic Mustang  Saleen and that they intended to induce Johnson to purchase the car in reliance on the  misrepresentation.   Thus, material issues of fact remain as to the first three elements of  fraud. The fourth element, GAPVT contends that Johnson's reliance was not reasonable  because Johnson “was never able to find the sixth gear” when he test­drove the car “though it  is undisputed that he knew that a Mustang Saleen would have six gears. Also, Johnson did  not check to see if a serial number was in place verifying the car's existence as a Mustang  Saleen.”  o Saleen was authorized by the evidence, this conclusion was not demanded by the  evidence.    GAPVT contends that Johnson cannot show that he was damaged by the alleged fraud  because he “has received a full reimbursement through the recession, ․ there has been no  negative impact on his credit, has been placed in his original position prior to entering the  contract.”   Georgia law does not allow a seller to escape all liability for defrauding a  customer, however, simply by refunding the purchase price.  GAPVT contends that Johnson failed to provide the required ante litem notice.   The record  shows that Johnson sent GAPVT a certified letter more than 30 days prior to filing this  action.   GAPVT contends that there is no evidence of a potential harmful effect on the consuming  public, because the car “was affixed with Saleen decals and labels by some individual or  entity prior to possession of the vehicle.” This position is illogical.   GAPVT's argument that the merger clause in the purchase agreement prevents Johnson “from standing on any representation allegedly made by a salesman” directly contradicts the express provisions of the Act. In particular, OCGA § 10­1­393(c). CONCLUSION 2  There is evidence from which the jury could find that GAPVT acted in bad faith in the  underlying transaction and has caused Johnson unnecessary trouble and expense and that it  violated the Fair Business Practices Act and injured Johnson thereby.  Because material issues of fact remain as to each element of Johnson's claim under the Act,  the trial court erred in granting GAPVT's motion for summary judgment on that claim.  ­ Judgment reversed. 3


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