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Pelkey v. Norton

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
99 A.2d 918 (1953)


Pelkey (plaintiff), an automobile salesman, agreed to sell Norton (defendant) a 1951 Packard vehicle for $3,007.84. Norton paid $1,807.84 in cash and traded in a truck towards the purchase price for an amount of $1,200. At the time of their negotiation, Norton informed Pelkey that the truck was a 1949 Chevrolet truck in order to induce Pelkey to provide a greater trade-in amount. In reality, the truck was a 1947 Chevrolet model. To verify Norton’s claim that it was a 1949 model, the dealership looked at certain numbers and a serial letter from the impression on Norton’s truck. A mistake was made in reading the letter Q as O. If read correctly, the letter Q would have informed Pelkey that the truck was a 1947 model. The difference in the trade-in price between a 1947 model and 1949 model truck was about $700. When the truck was later sold to a third-party purchaser, it was discovered that the truck was a 1947 model. The third-party purchaser subsequently brought suit against Pelkey for damages. Pekley then brought suit against Norton for fraud. At the conclusion of Pelkey’s evidence at trial, Norton moved for a directed verdict, which was granted. Pelkey appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Tirrel, J.)

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