Lewin Chevrolet-Geo-Oldsmobile v. Bender

695 N.Y.S.2d 425 (1999)

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Lewin Chevrolet-Geo-Oldsmobile v. Bender

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
695 N.Y.S.2d 425 (1999)

Facts

Bender (defendant) purchased an Oldsmobile from Lewin Chevrolet-Geo-Oldsmobile (Lewin) (plaintiff) by trading in her Blazer for credit and entering into an installment contract to finance the rest of the purchase price through Key Bank. The next day, before the parties exchanged certificates of title to the vehicles, Bender returned the Oldsmobile and demanded her Blazer back, but Lewin had already sold the Blazer to another customer. Lewin sued Bender, seeking an order compelling Bender to transfer the Blazer’s certificate of title. Bender filed a counterclaim against Lewin alleging that the contract was procured by the fraudulent representations of Lewin’s employees and that Lewin converted her Blazer. The lower court ruled in Bender’s favor on the counterclaim. The appellate court reversed the judgment in Bender’s favor, dismissed the counterclaim, and remanded the case for the lower court to determine Lewin’s damages under Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) § 2-708 and whether Bender was entitled to restitution under UCC § 2-718(2). On remand, the lower court found that Lewin did not suffer any damages and awarded Bender $9,500 in restitution, which represented the trade-in credit for the Blazer less $500. Lewin appealed and argued that it did not withhold the Oldsmobile within the meaning of UCC § 2-718(2). Rather, Lewin argued that Bender abandoned the Oldsmobile and failed to make the payments under the installment contract, so Key Bank repossessed the Oldsmobile, and Lewin repurchased it.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mikoll, J.)

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