Have the proceedings yet been transferred to your court or are they in his court?
He is claiming £450 it seems . How much was your goodwill offer?
In his court, he is an individual we are a LTD company. We will offer £450 to settle, our main concern is that judge finds in favour of claimant he will hold us liable for future repairs as warranty with manufacture should still be in place for 1-2 months. As a settlement we would offer £450 provided that ends all liability for the machine. However if we have a good chance of defence we will defend the case, we would like an honest view on the chances of a successful defence based on the evidence above.
A long way we are in Kent, they are in Lincolnshire.
I think you have an excellent defence. However this is smallclaims court and you will not recover legal costs even if you instructedsolicitors. You will get expenses for your travelling and time on the day incourt but that is all and that cost might be more valuable to you in terms oftime/waste.
I think you make an extremely good argument that the contract isvoid for illegality because clearly, this was a fraudulent contract designed todefraud eBay from their rightful fees. A court will not enforce an illegal or afraudulent contract.
I agree with you that I think that the warranty is somethingbetween the buyer and the supplier if the warranty terms do not mention that itis not transferable and they do not mention that the machine cannot be movedwhich I must admit I find most unusual.
You have not misrepresented the machine and under the Sale ofGods Act your liability ends after one month in any event.
If he has claimed £450 and you have offered £450, I really cannotsee what his gripe is. It would be worthwhile, if you still feel like you wouldlike to settle this, to send an offer marked "without prejudice save as tocosts" telling him that you will offer him £450 to settle the claim, on thestrict understanding that it is in full and final settlement of all claimsagainst your company past, present and future.
You could consider sending a cheque with the letter and seewhether he cashes it but do send it stating that heavy does not accept it, heshould return it to you.
Timescale apart, I think you are an excellent chance of defendingthis.
Please remember however that every piece of litigation needs atleast two parties and each party goes to court having been told by theirrespective legal advisers that they have a good chance of success nonetheless,one of them always loses.
If it does go to court be sure to raise the fact that you haveoffered £450 to settle the matter but that the claimant refused it wanting hisinterest.
You need to make sure that any judgement (if you do lose) doesput a stop to any future claims. That will allay your fears which appear to bemet your main concern.
If ever you are advertising something again with manufacturerswarranty you might want to change the wording of the adverts likely to say thatthe buyer will have to check whether the warranty is transferable. For the sakeof those few words, you would not have had this problem.
Production you also need to say specifically that buyers musttest the machine and satisfy themselves as to its condition and fitness forpurpose as it is being sold completely and utterly without any representationsand without any warranty, expressed or implied.
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Thank you for your help, as this claim is for such a small amount will it come down to a court hearing in lincolnshire or is it likely that the case can be decided based on the written evidence.
I think the manufacturer, rather than colluding with the claimanthas simply use this as an excuse to get out of doing the work.
You can always sue the manufacturer for the warranty cost or better still..
bring the manufacturer in as a second defendant. That might be an idea. Themanufacturer will really not want to be involved in small claims courtproceedings for the same reason that you do not want to be