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Weisz v. Parke-Bernet Galleries
New York City Civil Court
325 N.Y.S.2d 576 (1971)
David and Irene Schwartz and Dr. Arthur Weisz (buyers) (plaintiffs) attended auctions conducted by the highly respected Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc. (gallery) (defendant), at which the buyers purchased paintings that the gallery’s catalogue represented as being the works of Raoul Dufy, a famous painter. In fact, the paintings turned out to be forgeries. When the gallery refused the buyers’ requests to have their purchase money refunded, the buyers sued. The gallery’s defense was that its catalogue disclaimed the existence of any warranty and stated that auctioned items were sold “as is.” The technically worded disclaimer took up one page of the catalogue’s introduction, which was followed by 80 pages describing each item to be auctioned and the item’s supposed creator. As a threshold matter, the trial court found that the evidence indicated that the Schwartzes were aware of the catalogue’s disclaimer but that Weisz was not.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sandler, J.)
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