Spatta v. American Classic Cars LLC
A court can award damages in the form of rescission and restitution to a consumer who alleges that the defendants violated the Connecticut Lemon Law. The plaintiff, George Spatta, dreamed about owning a 1957 Chevrolet convertible. Gus Paoli allegedly offered to build the plaintiff's dream car, for costs plus $10,000. Spatta paid $175,000 to Paoli's limited liability company, American Classic Cars LLC. When he picked up the Chevrolet, it allegedly overheated, the power brakes whined, and the transmission did not operate properly. Spatta requested repairs four times and sued the defendants. The court found that the defendants had never built a motor vehicle from scratch and lacked the skill to complete the project. Although the Chevrolet passed an inspection by the Department of Motor Vehicles and was registered, the frame was not attached properly to the body, the headlights were not adjusted properly, the emergency brake did not work, the power windows were a fire hazard, and the steering was hard and unsafe. The court credited the testimony of the plaintiff's expert, Roland Corsi, that it will cost about $200,000 to repair the Chevrolet. The defendants were defaulted and, even if they had not been, the plaintiff proved his allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, and violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act and the Connecticut Lemon Law. The plaintiff proved damages by clear and convincing evidence and was entitled to rescission and to restitution. The court ordered the plaintiff to transfer the Chevrolet to the defendants, and the defendants to pay the plaintiff $211,017.