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If I cash a check for proceeds from an auction can I still sue the auctioneer?

Erie, PA |

Recently had a living estate auction that was totally mishandled. No buyers list of items, items that were not to be sold got sold, no security for premises, items were stolen, many items damaged, weather should have caused it to be cancelled or postponed. High end items were knocked down extremely quickly, house was trashed as auctioneers clerks just threw things into boxes at last minute, auctioneer said 15% then put 20% plus 10% buyers premium and also collected 3% for credit cards. Check was supposed to be paid in 15 days...took well over that and still has not returned property taken after the auction. Was supposed to have paid, armed,
security overnight and instead offered job to homeless person that turned it down due to chance of losing his bed for the night!

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

I would need to see what was in the contract with the auctioneer to know what their obligations actually were. If the terms you stated in your question were put into a contract with the auctioneer, you might be able to sue, but if it was never written down, you would have a problem proving anything, except that the auctioneer might have violated "standard practice" for the industry.

You really should talk to a lawyer. When you go to see the lawyer, bring a copy of the contract with the auctioneer, plus proof of any damages to any property, and a calculation of how much you might have lost in terms of revenue. Also, you need to show any correspondence that may have taken place between you and the auctioneer, either before or after the auction, including any written requests to return property, or any listing of property that was or was not to be sold.

Good luck.

Note: This answer has been given for informational purposes only, and does not constitute actual legal advice, nor has an attorney/client relationship been created thereby. If you wish to create an attorney/client relationship and receive actual legal advice and assistance, please call (610) 909-6433 or send an email to smr@srosemanlaw.com requesting a consultation.

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Posted

I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies.

That being said, it depends on what the contract (if any) between you and the auction house says, and what the check says. If the check says 'accord and satisfaction' or other language, you'll waive your claims by cashing it.

You should have your contract and the check reviewed by an attorney.

/Christopher E. Ezold/

I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies. /Christopher E. Ezold/ The Ezold Law Firm, P.C. Employment, Business and Health Law One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 660-5585 Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com www.ezoldlaw.com

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