Greenberg Glusker Trial Team Secures $1.1M Judgment in Faulty Boat Case

July 18, 2011Press Release
Press Release

Greenberg Glusker announced today that it has secured a $1.1 million judgment on behalf of its client in a Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act case against boat manufacturer, Tiara Yachts, and engine manufacturer Volvo Penta of The Americas.  Litigation Partner Lee A. Dresie led the two-week jury trial in the Superior Court of California, County of Ventura, which recently came to its full conclusion.

“The yacht and engine makers used our clients as de facto beta testers for their new product, yet refused responsibility for serious problems in design and manufacturing,” said Dresie.  “This case demonstrates that manufacturers must honor their warranties, both implied and express.  We argued that no consumer should be on the line for a manufacturer’s mistake -- and the jury agreed.”

The client, who is a 20-year boating enthusiast, had been a loyal customer of Tiara Yachts prior to purchasing a brand new Tiara 4300 Sovran in late 2006. But after experiencing four failures in the first 66 hours of operation, the client attempted to exercise his right of rescission under California law.  The boat manufacturer and engine manufacturer refused the client’s demand to buy back the faulty boat.  This refusal led to a suit against both manufacturers for breaching their obligations under California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

The Greenberg Glusker trial team, which included attorney Dan D. Nabel, focused its persuasive arguments on California’s implied warranty of merchantability, which provides that even if a manufacturer complies with an express warranty, all consumer goods sold in California must possess a basic level of quality when they are sold.

During trial, an expert witness for the defense testified that the client’s pattern of yacht malfunctions was simply bad luck and gave the analogy that no matter how hard a manufacturer tries to produce “100 white marbles” there will always be “a few red ones.”  
“We asked the jury if they would want a red marble if they had paid for a white one,” said Nabel.  “With a $1.1 million judgment, I think the answer was ‘No.’”