Blythewood, SC asked in Personal Injury, Products Liability and Car Accidents for Florida

Q: Can you sue and individual when then knowingly covered up damage to a vehicle that made it unsafe?

A few months ago I purchased a used truck. After asking very specific details about the vehicle history I purchased the truck. last week I had a brake failure going through a major intersection, luckily no one was injured. had the truck towed to a mechanic and he found the frame of the vehicle broken and the body of the truck had fallen down and crushed the brake line. Upon further inspection of the truck it was found that the entire frame of the vehicle was so rusted as to be able to push a screwdriver through it. All the damage had been covered up with tape and painted over as to make it look like there was no damage at all. According to the mechanic, it would have taken them days to complete the tape job to hide all the damage. Is this not an attempt to defraud someone? The truck is totaled and not able to be repaired without completely replacing the frame. If not for the grace of God someone could have died when the brakes failed because the falling body crushed the brake lines.

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Sure does sound like the kind of fraud that you can make a claim for. If the purchase agreement specified it was an "AS IS" sale, that would be a defense - but that defense could fail in some limited circumstances of there being certain clear, provable representations made by the seller about the condition of the vehicle. Regarding what "could have happened", that's irrelevant to your potential claim. What is relevant is what actually did happen, first in the transaction, then with regard to the damage needing repair.

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