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Failure to warn and failure to honor warranty - jurisdiction?

Kitts Hill, OH |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

2005 lived in Ohio, purchased trailer via the the internet via a dealer in GA and picked it up at the trailer factory in GA. Trailer made in Indiana
2007 Ohio address, axles failed, replaced under warranty
2008 Bought new trailer (Ohio address) from FL dealer, trailer shipped to me from Indiana.
2010 axles failed (same mfg. and type) I refused to accept the same axles under warranty, bought bigger axles.
2011 bigger axles failed in the same manner. Axle company refuses to honor warranty.
Research led me to several competing axle companies who explicitly state these axles will fail in this application under ALL circumstances. So I was also not warned of the eventuality of the failures.
2012 I am stuck with this trailer and the failing axles. I have spend $20,000 to no avail.

I am also concerned about the "incidental & consequential" damages that are excluded from the warranty. Ohio allows for these, does Indiana? Shall I find an Ohio or an Indiana lawyer?

Attorney Answers 1

  1. That's a good sketch of the background but more info is needed to be able to tell you what jurisdiction would apply. It sounds like your problem now is with the newer, bigger axles that were installed. The place where they were purchased and/or installed would be one jurisdiction you could use to file your claim though. Since you changed out the axles, it doesn't sound like the original manufacturer from 2008 may be liable to you now, unless there is a design issue that makes it incompatible with any axle design whatsoever, but that may be very hard to prove. The second trailer was purchased from a Florida dealer but delivered to you in Ohio. How that sales paperwork was signed would likely decide if you could use Florida law or if Ohio was proper. If the sales contract was already signed in Florida by the dealer and then sent to you here in Ohio and you signed it here, then that means the contract was "completed" and finalized here in Ohio. Otherwise, if the dealer signed it when they got your signature back to them in Florida then any liability by that dealer would likely arise only in Florida. As for the axle manufacturer, if one of their dealers said no warranty coverage to you, then the state where that occurred could have jurisdiction since that is where the warranty was breached by the axle manufacturer, if it was breached at all. Whoever installed the new, bigger axle may have some liability, depending on their paperwork. In fact, the sales and service paperwork of each one of these can make a big difference to all of this. Your situation is so complex and there are several laws that may apply too, in several states - frankly, it is unlikely that anyone here on Avvo can answer your question for sure. Then, on top of all that, your rights may expire (if they haven't already on some of this) if you don't act very, very quickly - but that also may depend on your paperwork. You need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney near you who deals with your specific kind of case. I handle cases like this so you can call us for a free case review. Or you can look for one here on Avvo under the Find a Lawyer tab. Or you can call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you or you can simply go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers ( and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote Up” review below. Thanks for asking and Good Luck. Ron Burdge,

    This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Click the link to find a Consumer Law attorney near you.

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