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(Minneapolis Star Tribune)   Woman buys $32k car "under influence of bipolar disorder"; sues dealer for selling it to her   (startribune.com) divider line 237
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12109 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Mar 2007 at 4:28 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-03-13 05:04:00 PM  
Lets review. This lady has a new car that she purchased at the same dealership. She goes in for an oil change and ends up buying (leasing) a new $32K car that she can not afford. She immediately notifies the dealership that due to a mental disorder she is a bit screwed up. The dealership, it would seem, is at least a bit understanding. After all, the car has not been driven (or no more then a normal test drive) and the dealership is not out any money. But, even after being provided proof of the illness they decide to asshat it and drop the car off at the lady's house.

I would be willing to wager that in court the dealership will lose.
 
2007-03-13 05:04:38 PM  
HRosebud:

When I go to get an oil change at the dealership I wander the lot to see whats available. I always tell the salesmen I am not interested and just there for an oil change so I dont waste their time. but I am always approached 2-3 times per visit because I am literally wandering the lot checking vehicles out.
 
2007-03-13 05:04:54 PM  
Dammit LetsGoBowling beat me to it
 
2007-03-13 05:04:56 PM  
Hey, that's a nice car. If I were that bipolar lady, I'd be happy I was liberated to purchase something that cool. Then I'd be sad, maybe a bit suicidal. I might just stare out the window for a day, wishing it would rain. Then back to happy again :)
/til I finished shopping and cleaning the house
//then back to depressed
 
2007-03-13 05:05:43 PM  
Whats with all the salesmen hatred anyway? Can't you understand its one of the only jobs you don't get paid to be there? Those guys are high pressure probably because their lives are high pressure. Feeding their wives and kids on a success based salary? They work damned hard at their job, which is getting people to take those cars. They can't force or coerce anyone into it, and I assure you that they don't mind you brushing them off. Some of us actually were damned knowledgable, and since I was younger without a wife and kid at the time I wasn't really a high pressure kind of guy.

I give them props for actually TRYING at their job though, its more than alot of people can say.
 
2007-03-13 05:07:17 PM  
I had an elderly neighbor some years back that went into a Caddy dealership for an oil change on her one year old car and drove off in a new one. Couldn't afford it? Naw, she was rich, lived generally way below her means, and liked having new cars. Should the dealer have not sold it to her because her previous car was less than a year old?

Last year, I had a 19 year-old patient for an eye exam who wanted contact lenses, and paid by check. I got a call from her minister then next day demanding that I return her money because she had the mental ability of a child and couldn't consent for an exam. If I didn't, he was going to call the papers and accuse me of being racist. I refunded the money, but not until after I gave him an earful about how he was full of shiat (I used nicer language) and how was I supposed to know that this young woman (over the age of consent, with an infant child, BTW) was not perfectly fit? She did or said nothing during the exam that revealed she had a problem of any type. I only refunded the money because I knew even an unfounded accusation could destroy me.

Strangely enough, she returned last week for a new exam (glasses this time) and is working for a tax prep office. Not sure how that works if she's mentally disabled as her minister insisted.
 
2007-03-13 05:07:35 PM  
phrightener

That's my bible.
 
2007-03-13 05:08:11 PM  
Andresdelsnorte:

I'd say you changing the subject from my question, which was an either/or, to how impulsive this thread is was pretty impulsive.

Lets try again: Either she has free will and the ability to have responsibilities, or she does not, and needs a get outta trouble free card so to speak. There's only one or the other, I'm just saying she shouldn't have kids if she can't buy something and be responsible for it.
 
2007-03-13 05:08:12 PM  
tweekster

Bullshiate eh? I did get some details wrong, but the dealership was found guilty of abusive practices.

Read about it here.
 
2007-03-13 05:09:25 PM  
larofeticus: If she wants to claim she can't responsibily make a decision as an adult, then she should be relieved of all decision making and treated like a child instead.


...read up on bi-polar disorder before you open your mouth... or click your keys, whatever. she's capable of making responsible decisions, but from time to time, impulsivity takes over. trust me, dealing with it is an absolute biatch.

honestly, I have hard time siding with the lady involved in this, EXCEPT for the fact that the dealership said they would rescind the deal if she provided a letter from her Dr. describing her condition. but, bi-polar or no, I don't think I'd be buying a $440 a month car 6 mos. after buying a new car, that's just way out in left field.

/untreated bi-polar sufferer.
//beni's = meds. !woOt!
 
2007-03-13 05:09:29 PM  
Whatthefark:

If they actually used abusive practices like you state that is different than what I said, but i dont see why a dealership should have to question their customers simply because they already have a newer vehicle.
 
2007-03-13 05:10:14 PM  
I'm a Mazda Cx-9 and I'm really getting a kick outta these replies...
 
2007-03-13 05:10:29 PM  
vandelizer: But it was not established if she was waiting around in the service area or walking around the lot looking at cars, if she was in the lot looking at cars. It also does not indicate whether she mentioned she had A car being serviced

neither of the articles say where she was at in the dealership only that she was approached by the manager and a salesman. In the dealerships I worked at if a salesman was attempting to shoehorn a sale out of the parts, maintenance or rental departments there was no warning...instant unemployment.

the fact that she didn't bother to tell the sharks that she already had a car that she'd bought from that same dealership six months earlier?
 
2007-03-13 05:11:37 PM  
lasergoose Winz teh thread...
 
2007-03-13 05:14:10 PM  
I don't buy it. If this were the case, she wouldn't be able to leave any store without going bankrupt. I bet she can't even make it through a supermarket check out line without buying everything off the impulse rack.

As far as I'm concerened, she walked into a place where the main portion of the business is selling cars. God forbid someone tries to do their job. I understand she went in for an oil change but it's still a dealership. If she really has that bad a time, then she should not ever be out on her own. If she wins the suit, I say the dealership should sue the husband for not watching his wife and costing the dealership a sale and further depreciating the value of the car.

I would love to see the CarFax report on that vehicle:
Bought by nut job, never driven.
 
2007-03-13 05:14:22 PM  
This woman needs to get her mental shiat together if she wants to make anything of herself.

/Suffers from bipolar, depression, and ADHD
//Pissed that people use it as an excuse, because it makes a joke of the illness
///Slashy
 
2007-03-13 05:14:31 PM  
andresdelnorte: Sorry guys. It's an established rule of contract that taking advantage of someone with a verifiable and known (emphasis on known) mental conditon, be bipolar disorder or dimensia, is an unconscionable contract and voidable in law. You can throw all that personal responsibility stuff around that you want, but until you've worked or been involved in the mental health field you couldn't possibly understand.

andresdelnorte, OK, let's take your point at face value.

If she establishes her defense, then it must also follow that: (1) she can never be sold a car; (2) she can never be sold a house; (3) she can never enter an employment agreement; (4) she can never be sold a cell phone plan; etc. You get the idea. These decisions are always bilateral because there are always two parties involved, and thus always involve pressure.

Do you accept this? Do you accept that for the rest of her life, people can justifiably refuse to deal with her?

You must at least accept that she can be subject to a lifetime ban on attending auctions, right?

Or do you play it both ways, heads she wins, tails the other guy always loses?
 
2007-03-13 05:14:37 PM  
I find it kind of funny that people assume the person was in the parts department...is it really common to just sit there and wait? I have NEVER done that, I go check out the shiny new cars
 
2007-03-13 05:14:49 PM  
me2u2: That's what she gets for not shopping at the Troy Motor Mall...

She did. She bought Mazda CX-9 from Suburban Mazda of Troy... which is part of the Troy Motor Mall.
 
2007-03-13 05:15:31 PM  
Yes, it is an established principle of contract law that you can't enforce a contract with somebody who is bat-shaite crazy (not a legal term), but the other party to the contract has to know that the person is a taco short of a combo-platter (also not a legal term).

Being a diagnosed bi-polar person ( I don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps), I would like to kick this woman in the head. SHE knew she was crackers, but apparently didn't take her meds. The only person in the article saying the dealership promised to resind the contract is the spouse of the nut-bag. If this is the case, they still don't have a case: No written contract saying this. Sorry, but oral contracts for goods costing more that $500 (in most jurisdictions) are not enforceable. Check the Statute against Frauds in the UCC.

But it is a simple matter to go to a judge and say: I am nuts. Here is proof from my doctor. Please make the dealership resind this contract.

No harm, no foul. If crazy-lady has a couple hundred in legal fees, call it her penalty for going with out her meds.

/takes my meds
/don't like roller-coasters in my head
/likes real ones
/and slashies
//!
 
2007-03-13 05:15:32 PM  
larrimo: I'm a Mazda Cx-9 and I'm really getting a kick outta these replies...

Mine was first. Yours was better. I LOL'd.
 
2007-03-13 05:17:34 PM  
It's simple. If she wants a contract voided on account of mental defect, then the only way she can be granted her wish is for her to be found to be mentally unfit.

So, she will need a legal guardian for everything. She will be legally unable to enter into contracts.

She certainly won't be able to be the custodian of her children.

Here it is: I think this was an impulsive defense on her part!

/FTW?
 
2007-03-13 05:18:08 PM  
No one can blame the dealership for the initial purchase. However they were, a very short time later, presented with proof of her condition. The car was delivered to her home after that proof had been supplied. This is what the judge needs to consider when he rules on her case. He should, in a just world, find for her. However, she should not be awarded any damages. Simply reverse all charges against her. I do think a simple note should be placed on her credit report warning future lenders of a possible issue with her mental status.
 
2007-03-13 05:20:17 PM  
Bottom line is that we should all rush out and get diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It's like having a "get out of jail free" card in your back pocket.
 
2007-03-13 05:21:10 PM  
Nrokreffefp Whats with all the salesmen hatred anyway?

Because it's a profession that almost by its nature requires you to be a liar. You know damn well what you can sell the car for and make a profit. But it's your job to wring every cent possible out of the buyer, using every trick in the book. The ol' I'm on your side against my boss crap. The "never let em leave the lot" crap.

Ever noticed the type of people that are attracted to car sales. Get rich quick types. They think they can make money with little effort and no skills. With few exceptions car salesman are low lifes.

I would no more walk onto a car lot as I would cut off my own junk. My last 3 cars I bought on the Internet. My hope is that one day the car salesman goes the way of the dodo bird.
 
2007-03-13 05:21:29 PM  
Hal Jalykakik

...Plus, WTF was the salesman trying to sell her a new car for, especially when she'd come in with her 6 month old car for an oil change?

After I bought my Monte Carlo I drove it to a Chevy dealership to buy new emblems because the stupid old owner cut the "o"'s off so it would say Monte Carl. As soon as I got out of the car a salesmen walked over to it, looked it over and was asking me if I'd like to trade it in. Two days after the 30 day tags were put on it. Some salesmen are just stupid.
 
2007-03-13 05:22:33 PM  
NightOwl2255:

One of the best salesmen I ever met was a car salesmen. Awesome, HONEST guy. friend of the family helps too

maybe you just need to deal with better people instead of blaming them all.
 
2007-03-13 05:23:06 PM  
www.autogaleria.pl
Unavailable for Comment
 
2007-03-13 05:25:20 PM  
Nrokreffefp

Lets try again: Either she has free will and the ability to have responsibilities, or she does not, and needs a get outta trouble free card so to speak. There's only one or the other...

While I'm deciding on my answer should I also tell you if I'm with Bush or with the terrorists?

Too many issues at once makes my head hurt! I'll just make an absolute judgment on a handful of facts that I've decided can only result in two mutually exclusive outcomes. You'll notice all my statements have been to a degree conditional (if-then statements). Is it possible that someone with bi-polar disorder can be pressured by a salesmen during a bad day into an impulsive buy that financially she can't make, and yet still be able to send her kids to school and make them lunch?

Do you work with a lot of bipolar people? Do you have the information you need to make this determination? An opinion based on an article that is admittedly 'not news' is probably insufficient.
 
2007-03-13 05:28:00 PM  
I'm shocked by a lot of people on here saying "people with bipolar shouldn't drive/have credit cards/shop online/have normal lives". Or the last statement "I don't buy it. If this were the case, she wouldn't be able to leave any store without going bankrupt." While manic cycles can cause difficulties in all of those areas (people undergoing mania are occasionally speeders when they drive, i.e.) they are still entitled to the same rights, even the same lives as anyone else. People with bipolar do have a responsibility to look out for themselves, knowing that they are given to reckless and irrational behavior, but it is a disease that does strange things, and even with careful planning, episodes occur, and in situations like that (the car is a good example), particularly if a contract is involved, the person is not always liable.
 
2007-03-13 05:28:11 PM  
tweekster
If they actually used abusive practices like you state that is different than what I said, but i dont see why a dealership should have to question their customers simply because they already have a newer vehicle.


There was no 'if' about it, they were brought up on charges by the Attorney General's office. They knew the man was menatally impared and took advantage of him. They got caught and were made to pay him back.

I do understand where your coming from as far as questioning everyone though. There is already enough paperwork involved without having to go through a psych exam as well.
 
2007-03-13 05:31:02 PM  
Funny how just one aspect of bipolar is totally getting called out. If a mom was on the depression end, too depressed to leave the house, she'd probably be praised for being a good parent. If the wife was manic and hypersexual, she'd probably get praised (despite any and all repercussions later on). If someone manic goes on an eating binge and gorges him/herself on Oreos, yes, it's gross, but nobody suggests that they be permanently denied food and not be allowed to feed their children. Insert your own symptoms ad nauseum.
Double standards much?

/bipolar, medicated, and self-responsible
//also silently bitter about many of the responses here, but that's my own problem
 
2007-03-13 05:31:03 PM  
andresdelnorte: "It's an established rule of contract that taking advantage of someone with a verifiable and known (emphasis on known) mental conditon, be bipolar disorder or dimensia, is an unconscionable contract and voidable in law.

You can throw all that personal responsibility stuff around that you want, but until you've worked or been involved in the mental health field you couldn't possibly understand."

I totally agree. In law school, one of the first cases you read in Contracts class is Lucy v. Zehmer, which establishes a rule very similar to the one stated above. That case dealt with a contract to sell property in which the seller later had a case of "seller's remorse" and tried to void the contract because he was "drunk." There was no evidence supporting that the buyer knew he was drunk, so the contract was held valid. Later, you go deeper and learn about mental health/disabilities and their effects on the ability to contract.

I'm a big fan of personal accountability, but sometimes people suffer from conditions which the layman could not possibly understand. Coupled with that general statement of the law, the lawsuit has merit.
 
2007-03-13 05:31:30 PM  
andresdelnorte

I'm bipolar and I'm getting a kick out of these replies

No I'm not!

Yes I am!

No I'm not!

Yes I am!

/oh god
 
2007-03-13 05:32:23 PM  
tweekster

NightOwl2255:

One of the best salesmen I ever met was a car salesmen. Awesome, HONEST guy. friend of the family helps too

maybe you just need to deal with better people instead of blaming them all.


Yeah! 99.9% of car salesmen make the rest look bad. Don't be so ignorant!!!
 
2007-03-13 05:32:56 PM  
photos11.flickr.com

Whenever I hear about mentally ill women, this is all I see in my mind.

 
2007-03-13 05:33:23 PM  
Chester Fields:

depends on the Dealership. Wilde Toyota in Milwaukee is great.

All of their sales people are great. They do so much volume they dont need to pressure you.
 
2007-03-13 05:34:52 PM  
tweekster

Mr Wilde, I presume?
 
2007-03-13 05:35:51 PM  
Sounds like a lot of farkers slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night...

The misunderstanding of basic contract law and the required mental capacity is appalling.
 
2007-03-13 05:36:30 PM  
The article that some_random_guy linked states that the woman's husband took the vehicle back to the dealership. Since it's been driven I would assume that it cannot be sold as new any longer. And since the salesman apparently did not know of her "condition" when he leased the vehicle to her, it seems to me a reasonable resolution would be to take the vehicle back but charge her for the loss in value caused by her.
 
2007-03-13 05:37:00 PM  
You can throw all that personal responsibility stuff around that you want, but until you've worked or been involved in the mental health field you couldn't possibly understand.

That's really all that needs to be said. Of course, we'll still have hundreds of posts from self-proclaimed experts who don't know why these retards don't just stop acting goofy and grow up already...

/paid $175 + tax for a shiatty hotel room that my wife used for 1 hour while waiting for me to pick her up after she had "an episode" and became confused/disoriented in public

//proprietor told the cop that went with me that he knew she was "a little off" when she checked in, but that didn't stop him from cha-ching when she handed him his choice of credit cards just to get off the streets
 
2007-03-13 05:37:18 PM  
Your Honor

Sounds like a lot of farkers slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night...


Hell, I'm in one RIGHT NOW! Sure beats the super 8 down the road.


The misunderstanding of basic contract law and the required mental capacity is appalling.


Then again, their understanding of morality might be better...after all, a good chunk of what's in the lawbooks right now is idiocy.
 
2007-03-13 05:37:31 PM  
Eirik: Not sure how that works if she's mentally disabled as her minister insisted.

You sure that was her minister? I'd bet that was more likely her boyfriend, and they've probably pulled that crap before.

As for TFA, I've NEVER been approached to buy a new car while in for service. Sure, if I'm trolling the showroom while I wait somebody might try to talk to me, but they can't tell that I've been kicking back in the waiting room for 45 minutes and I'm fairly bored. In the service dept: no questions, just polite nods from the salesfolk who happen by. In the showroom: fair game.

If you're mentally ill, don't expect the rest of society to cover for your ass. It isn't fair that you can't think straight all the time, but neither is it fair to expect others to be able to tell that you're insane by just looking. You know your symptoms, deal with them. If you insist on causing hell in other people's lives while having an episode, then I'm all for dropping you off out in the desert, hundreds of miles from anybody. Take your meds, make allowances for your own issues, and take responsibility for yourself.
 
2007-03-13 05:37:59 PM  
give me doughnuts: /takes my meds

What meds are you currently on, by the way? I am trying to find something that actually works for me.

/not bipolar, but similar symptoms
//borderline personality disorder
///I suck at life
 
2007-03-13 05:38:21 PM  

Thus toll the funeral bells for personal responsibility. If you know you're having a manic episode or are in an otherwise "altered state", have your spouse take the car keys until you come back to Earth.


Absolutely BRILLIANT. I tell you what... next time you find yourself in free fall, just have your spouse tell you not to fall off of that cliff you just fell from...
 
2007-03-13 05:38:28 PM  
Captian Iceballs:

Haha, no but thats where I bought my first car. on the other hand I was in some other dealerships that were trying to get me to sign the papers as i was walking out the door.

those guys were asshats.


I have noticed something about car dealerships, skip the small ones, they use a lot of pressure, go for the HUGE high volume places. the sales people know they dont have to pressure you because someone else is already coming in the door 2 mins later.

That is my limited experience though.
 
2007-03-13 05:39:06 PM  
nakito

I guess it's one of those situations where if she really wants out of every contract she ever makes, she'll have to make it a legal fiasco. And likewise, the onus is on her everytime to prove her case, that she was in fact in the midst of a manic episode when she entered the contract.

And as I mentioned earlier, if the salesman didn't know, and the chattle has been substantially altered in some way (be it an accident or the addition of 10,000 k) then the court would likely make a determination that the contract cannot be rescinded.

I guess the reason my take on it is so frustrating for people is because I'm a law student and we're taught to look at everything in general principles that are always subject to alteration based on the individual circumstances. That's why I don't think you can say that this women isn't allowed to ever enter into a contract in her life, be it for a car or a cup of coffee. It's complicated, life is complicated, you take these wacko scenarios one at a time.
 
2007-03-13 05:39:26 PM  
I just wrote a memorandum on the same subject. In most places if someone has bipolar, the other party knows or has reason to know about it, and the woman is unable to act reasonably with regards to the contract, the contract is usually voidable.
 
2007-03-13 05:39:46 PM  
i did this last january

got a new job on monday

got first(and bigger than ever before) paycheck friday 5PM

straggled into ford dealership w/ paid off civic at 5:30

test drove mustang convertable

purchaced said convertible on what turned out to be excellent credit

used afore mentioned civic as down payment

drove home in new convertable 7PM

interesting side note:
used newfound credit score to rack up an extra $30,000 in debt

still have some of the stuff
not the car
they took it back
...bastards

did i mention i lost that job due to a manic outburst a month or so later...


/bi-polar sucks
//slashies on the other hand...
 
2007-03-13 05:40:32 PM  
NCg8r

/paid $175 + tax for a shiatty hotel room that my wife used for 1 hour while waiting for me to pick her up after she had "an episode" and became confused/disoriented in public


For $175..... hmm....

/naughty thoughts
//crazy is the new sexy
 
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