Stovall Tire & Marine, Inc. v. Prance Body & Fender Works, 71978

Decision Date24 June 1986
Docket NumberNo. 71978,71978
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

Albert B. Wallace, Jonesboro, for appellant.

Paul Koehler, Todd K. Maziar, Atlanta, for appellee.

McMURRAY, Presiding Judge.

Plaintiff purchased a boat from defendant. The boat has a fiberglass hull covered by an outer layer of a substance referred to as "Gel-Coat." Several months following the purchase of the boat plaintiff discovered that the "Gel-Coat" covering of the hull was "cracking and blistering." Plaintiff returned the boat to defendant seeking repair of the problem. Defendant made repairs and returned the boat to plaintiff.

Three months later plaintiff discovered a further problem with blistering of the "Gel-Coat" finish. Plaintiff contacted defendant regarding this problem but defendant declined to make any further repairs.

Following defendant's refusal to make further repairs plaintiff filed this action stating several theories for recovery, only two of which were submitted to the jury. The jury was instructed as to plaintiff's claims on a theory of implied warranty of merchantability and on a theory of fraud. Although the jury was not given any instructions requiring a special verdict, there was no objection to the form of the verdict which clearly shows that the verdict in favor of plaintiff was predicated upon plaintiff's fraud claim, as the jury found "that the boat was misrepresented at the time of sale as a new boat, rather than a demo ..." Defendant appeals. Held:

Defendant raises 12 enumerations of error. However, we only need to address the denial of defendant's motion for directed verdict (at the close of plaintiff's evidence) as to plaintiff's fraud claim.

Even if we presume that plaintiff has presented evidence authorizing a jury to conclude as plaintiff has alleged, that the boat was not new but had been run in the water by defendant in boat shows and that plaintiff justifiably relied upon the representation of the defendant that the boat was new, there is no evidence of any damage resulting therefrom. " 'Fraud without damage, or damage without fraud, gives no cause of action, but when these two concur an action lies.' Green v. Bryant, 2 Ga. 66, followed in Brooke v. Cole, 108 Ga. 251, 252 (33 SE 849); [OCGA § 51-6-1]. See also Foster v. Sikes, 202 Ga. 122 (42 SE2d 441)." Motors Ins. Corp. v. Morgan, 117 Ga.App. 654, 657(3), 161 S.E.2d 382. See also Newkirk v. United Fed. Savings, etc., Assn., 165 Ga.App. 311, 312, 299 S.E.2d 183; Bigby v. Powell, 25 Ga. 244(1), and Freeman v. McDaniel, 23 Ga. 354.

In the case sub judice, the applicable measure of damages on plaintiff's fraud claim is the difference between the value of the boat at the time of its purchase and the value which the boat would have had if it had been as represented (i.e., new, rather than having been used as a demonstrator at a boat show). See Millirons v. Dillon, 100 Ga. 656(2), 28 S.E. 385; Rustin Oldsmobile v. Kendricks, 123 Ga.App. 679, 182 S.E.2d 178.

Plaintiff has presented evidence of the actual purchase price of the boat. Opinion testimony was presented as to the actual value of the boat at the time of the purchase. However, this opinion testimony (as to actual value at time of purchase) was predicated upon the problems with the "Gel-Coat" finish on the hull and there was no testimony associating a reduced actual value at the time of plaintiff's purchase of the boat with plaintiff's reliance upon defendant's representation that the boat was new. In other words, there was no evidence of a causal connection between the fraudulent misrepresentation ...

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7 cases
  • ET Barwick Industries v. Walter E. Heller & Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Georgia
    • December 22, 1987
    ...injure the plaintiff in his business or property, the plaintiff has a claim under § 1964(c)); Stovall Tire & Marine, Inc. v. Prance Body & Fender Works, 179 Ga.App. 483, 347 S.E.2d 313 (1986) ("Fraud without damage, or damage without fraud, gives no cause of action, but when these two concu......
  • JTH Tax, Inc. v. Flowers
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • March 9, 2010 left to speculation, conjecture and guesswork." (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Stovall Tire, etc. v. Prance Body, etc. Works, 179 Ga.App. 483, 484, 347 S.E.2d 313 In the case before us, the contract could be interpreted to provide that the purchase price would be either Flowers's g......
  • Spikes v. Citizens State Bank
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • June 24, 1986
  • Pendley Quality Trailer Supply v. B & F PLASTICS, INC.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • March 10, 2003
    ...Constr. Co. v. Professional Svc. Indus., 258 Ga.App. 44, 45(1), 574 S.E.2d 333 (2002). 7. Stovall Tire & Marine v. Prance Body & Fender Works, 179 Ga.App. 483, 484, 347 S.E.2d 313 (1986). 8. Gentry testified that she was notified that one of her customers was switching to an entirely differ......
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