I bought a mastiff for $2,500 from a breeder in Florida that was supposed to be trained as a service dog for my son, we live in NC. The dog was diagnosed with congenital malformation of his hind legs. Breeder refused to refund the purchase price of dog, as outlined in the statutes of the puppy lemon law. How can this be enforced?
Apparently, she will not pay unless your sue her and get a judgment.
I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of California. Unless we have both signed a formal retainer agreement you are not my client, and my discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of those who hold other opinions.
I agree with my colleague who stated that you must consult with a Florida Animal Law Attorney, as each state has different laws, and only attorneys admitted to practice in that state are qualified and knowledgeable about that state's laws. However, generally speaking, animals are legally defined as "property" and, unfortunately, treated as such in the eyes of the law. So the purchase of a dog, as a pet or as a service animal, is legally a purchase of goods. Along with the purchase of goods from a merchant who deals in those goods (which a breeder would be), there comes implied warranties, including the implied warranty of merchantability. This warranty states that the goods purchased are guaranteed to be fit for the purpose of which those goods are ordinarily used. There is an argument to be made that the presence of the malformation would violate this implied warranty. Also, if you discussed the intent of using the dog as a service animal with the seller, and you relied on the seller to select a dog for that purpose, there is an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. Again, the malformation preventing the use as a service animal would violate this implied warranty. A thorough review of the contract would be necessary. However, if there is a Florida puppy lemon law which speaks directly to this issue, it would be the strongest way to proceed. But as my other colleague mentioned, hiring a Florida lawyer to bring suit and get a judgment would be the only way to force payment through the court system.
I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of North Carolina. Unless we have both signed a formal retainer agreement you are not my client, and my discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of those who hold other opinions.
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