Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pelkey v. Norton case brief

Pelkey v. Norton case brief summary
99 A.2d 918 (1953)

Plaintiff automobile and truck dealer filed an action on the case for deceit against defendant customer. The trial court (Maine) granted the customer's motion for directed verdict and denied the dealers motion for directed verdict. The dealer filed exceptions to the trial court's rulings.

The dealer sold the customer an automobile. The dealer accepted a trade in from the customer. The dealer alleged that the customer misrepresented the model year of the trade in and, as a result, received more for the trade in. The trial court granted a directed verdict in favor of the customer finding that the dealer failed to exercise reasonable care when he accepted the trade in. The dealer could have determined the year of the trade in by checking its serial number.


  • On appeal, the court held that the trial court erred in directing a verdict in favor of the customer. 
  • The court held that there was evidence, which if believed by the jury, would have justified a finding that the customer was guilty of an intentional fraudulent misrepresentation to the dealer. 
  • If the customer made an intentional misrepresentation, negligence on the part of the dealer in reliance thereon was not a defense. 
  • The court also held that the dealer's motion for a directed verdict was properly denied because it was made after the court had already directed a verdict in favor of the customer.

The court sustained the dealer's exceptions to the directed verdict entered in favor of the customer. The court overruled the dealer's exceptions to the trial court's refusal to grant a directed verdict to the dealer.

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