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Smith v. Rosenthal Toyota, Inc.

Maryland Court of Special Appeals
573 A.2d 418 (1990)


Facts

James Smith (plaintiff) was looking at a new truck at Rosenthal Toyota, Inc. (Rosenthal) (defendant). A Rosenthal salesperson (Rosenthal) told Smith that he could leave his old truck at the showroom and take the new truck home for the weekend, and that if Mrs. Smith (plaintiff) liked it they could return and finalize the purchase together. Rosenthal had Smith sign a number of documents, which Rosenthal described as a “mere formality,” including a retail installment contract agreeing to purchase the truck, a warranty that Smith had traded his old truck for the new one, and the title to Smith’s old truck. One of the documents contained an integration clause. Mrs. Smith did not agree to the purchase, and the Smiths attempted to return the new truck. Rosenthal refused to accept the truck or return Smith’s old truck. The Smiths sued Rosenthal for fraud and conversion. The circuit court granted Rosenthal’s motion for summary judgment, based in part on the integration clause in one of the documents signed by Smith. The circuit court held that it could not consider Rosenthal’s representations to Smith, because those representations were outside the written agreements between the parties. The Smiths appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Wilner, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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