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  • Zalnis v. Thoroughbred Datsun Car Co.Zalnis v. Thoroughbred Datsun Car Co.
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Zalnis v. Thoroughbred Datsun Car Co.

Colorado Court of Appeals
645 P.2d 292 (1982)


Christine Zalnis (plaintiff) purchased a vehicle from Linnie Cade, a salesman with Thoroughbred Datsun Car Company (Thoroughbred) (defendant). The president of Thoroughbred, C.S. Trosper (defendant), approved the sale based on representations made by Cade, which later were determined to be premised on erroneous calculations. Zalnis and Trosper had known each other for years. Additionally, Trosper knew that Zalnis had witnessed her husband’s suicide and that, since that time, she had been in a fragile emotional state. Zalnis took possession of the car that day and paid the balance of the purchase price two days later. Shortly thereafter, Trosper learned that the car had been sold at a $1,000 loss. Trosper instructed Cade to get Zalnis to pay the additional amount or have the car returned. Cade declined. Instead, another salesman, Marc Anthony (defendant) telephoned Zalnis and told her to return the car, because it was being recalled. Upon her arrival, Zalnis refused to turn over the car until she was told why the car was being recalled. Zalnis received no answer, and the car was taken from her. Zalnis demanded the immediate return of her car and telephoned her attorney. Trosper explained to Zalnis’ attorney that she had only gotten the good price on the car because she was sleeping with Cade. Additionally, Zalnis testified that Anthony yelled at her, called her a “whore,” followed her around the showroom, used abusive language, and grabbed her arm in a threatening manner. Zalnis filed suit against the defendants for outrageous conduct (sometimes called intentional infliction of emotional distress) and slander. Thoroughbred and Trosper moved for partial summary judgment on the outrageous conduct claim, which the trial court granted. Zalnis appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kelly, J.)

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