35 Mass.App.Ct. 563 (1993), 92-P-932, Wyler v. Bonnell Motors, Inc.
|Citation:||35 Mass.App.Ct. 563, 624 N.E.2d 116|
|Party Name:||Geoffrey D. WYLER, Second, v. BONNELL MOTORS, INC.|
|Case Date:||December 01, 1993|
|Court:||Appeals Court of Massachusetts|
Further Appellate Review Denied Feb. 1, 1994.
Argued Sept. 27, 1993.
Peter T. Wechsler, Boston, for defendant.
Andrew M. Fischer, Boston, for plaintiff.
Before PERRETTA, KASS and PORADA, JJ.
There must be a cautionary tale to spin when, as here, a difference of opinion about an automobile repair bill of $502.33 [624 N.E.2d 117] results in an aggregate judgment for the customer of $120,418.
What we are to decide is whether, if G.L. c. 93A damages are to be assessed after the underlying common law
claim has gone to judgment,
We have the benefit of careful findings from the judge on the 93A case, and we rely on them to set the factual context. Geoffrey D. Wyler, a lawyer, owned a 1981 Ford Tempo automobile which he had purchased from Bonnell Motors, Inc. (Bonnell), and which he regularly took to Bonnell for servicing. On April 17, 1985, after discovering that the rear window of his car had been shattered in an act of vandalism, Mr. Wyler asked his son, Geoffrey D. Wyler, II (Geoffrey), to take the car to Bonnell for repair and to rent a car from Bonnell to tide them over until the Tempo was fixed (the repair was to take a day). Geoffrey, who was eighteen at the time, signed a repair authorization on which was prominently printed: "TERMS: CASH OR MAJOR CREDIT CARD." In connection with the car rental, Geoffrey left an imprint of his mother's credit card on a blank charge slip (signed by Geoffrey, according to his testimony).
Next morning Geoffrey went to pick up his father's car and to return the leased vehicle. The bill for the glass repair was $502.33. Geoffrey informed the service manager at Bonnell that the damage was covered by insurance and that the insurer would pay. Bonnell was adamant that it must be paid (cash or major credit card) before it would release the car. Geoffrey called his father. Mr. Wyler, in turn, called Bonnell and had no better success in persuading Bonnell to accept his
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