Equine Law Matter - Closed - Get Information, Read Court Documents Default Judgment of $52K+ entered against Ryan Bell (now of MRK Dressage in Georgia).

CHARNA WATTS, Plaintiff, v. KENNETH RYAN BELL, and ORION DRESSAGE, LLC, Defendants

UNPAID JUDGEMENTS

No.  INC 1106759
COME NOW, Chama Watts and hereby alleges as follows.
INTRODUCTION
1.
This is an action by Chama Watts (“Plaintiff’) against Kenneth Ryan Bell and Orion Dressage, LLC (collectively, “Defendants”). Plaintiff purchased a horse from Defendants on or about May 1, 2011, for the sum of $8,500.00. The horse turned out to be in much poorer condition than Defendants had represented to Plaintiff and was not fit to be ridden. The horse was also three years older than Defendants had represented to Plaintiff and was not a registered Thoroughbred as Defendants had advertised. Additionally, Defendants did not have clear title to the horse at the time of sale. Furthermore, Defendants failed to provide Plaintiff with a bill of sale as required by California law. Therefore, Plaintiff brings this action against Defendants.
PARTIES, JURISDICTION AND VENUE
2.
Plaintiff is now, and at all relevant times has been, a resident of Texas.
3.
Defendant Bell is now, and at all relevant times has been, a resident of Riverside County, California.
4.
Defendant Orion Dressage, LLC is now, and at all relevant times has been, a California limited liability company with its principal place of business in Riverside County, California.
5.
The transaction that is the subject of this complaint took place in Riverside County, California.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
6.

Dressage, an Olympic sport, is an equestrian discipline in which the horse and rider perform certain required movements. In dressage competition, competitors ride a “test” consisting of required movements for their particular level and receive a score based primarily upon the quality and precision with which the competitors execute the required movements. As the horse and rider progress through the levels of dressage competition, the required movements become progressively more difficult to perform.

7.

ln the United States, the United States Dressage Federation (”USDF”) governs dressage competition for Training Level through Fourth Level. The Federation Equestre lnternationale (“FEI”) is the international governing body of the sport of dressage and writes the tests for the highest levels of competition, Prix St. George through Grand Prix.
Horses competing successfully at these FEl levels are commonly known as “confirmed FEI horses” among dressage professionals and enthusiasts. Horses that are not only confirmed FEI horses but also willing to and capable of helping their riders learn to ride at the FEI level are commonly known as “FE1 schoolmasters” among dressage professionals and enthusiasts.
8.

On or about April 2011, Plaintiff sought to purchase an FEI schoolmaster for the purpose of learning to ride upper-level dressage movements and eventually training for and competing in dressage at FEI levels. Plaintiff breeds and raises young sporthorses [for dressage and other equestrian disciplines, but is an amateur rider who has only competed in lower-level dressage.9.

On or about April 2011, Plaintiff read an advertisement placed by Defendants on Dreamhorse.com, a horse sale website, for a horse named “Mason” (hereinafter, the
“Horse”). The Horse was advertised by Defendants as being a 17 year old registered Thoroughbred, a “fantastic FEl schoolmaster,” “confirmed in all FEI movements … confirmed full pirouettes, confirmed piaffe,” and the “perfect horse to teach someone the movements.”
10.
On Dreamhorse.com, Defendants also advertised the Horse as an “easy keeper” that “has never had any health issues.” In the horse industry, a horse referred to as an “easy keeper” is generally accepted to mean a horse that maintains a healthy weight easily when receiving standard types and amounts of feed. Based upon this description, Plaintiff responded to Defendants’ advertisement and inquired about the Horse.
11.
Based upon information provided by Defendants, Plaintiff offered to purchase the Horse for the sum of $8,500.00, subject to the outcome of a pre-purchase veterinary
examination. Defendants accepted Plaintiffs offer, creating a contract for the purchase of the Horse.
12.
On or about April 27, 2011, Dr. Sonya Wilsterman, DVM, performed a pre-purchase examination of the Horse on Plaintiffs behalf. On or about April 30, 2011, Plaintiff agreed to complete the purchase of the Horse from Defendants.
13.
On or about May 1, 2011, Defendants provided Plaintiff with bank account information for Defendant Bell and also sent Plaintiff an invoice for the purchase price via the online payment service Pay Pal. On or about May 1, 2011Plaintiff paid Defendants the sum of $8,500 via Pay Pal.
14.
Plaintiff then made arrangements to have a professional equine transporter haul the Horse from Riverside, California to Plaintiffs home in Powderly, Texas. On or about
May 7, 2011, the transporter picked up the Horse. On or about May 9, 2011, the Horse arrived at Plaintiffs ranch.
15.
When the Horse exited the transporter’s trailer, Plaintiff immediately noticed that [the Horse was extremely thin and had very poor muscle tone. On the day of the Horse’s
arrival, Plaintiff took photographs of the Horse and emailed them to Defendants. Defendants replied via email to Plaintiff on May 9, 2011, stating, “This is horrible. He
looks horrible!!”
16.
On or about May 12, 2011, Dr. Katy Dunn, DVM, examined the Horse. Dr. Dunn noted that “the horse is markedly thin, with moderate muscle atrophy over the topline.” In fact, the Horse was so thin that Dr. Dunn advised Plaintiff that the Horse could not be [safely sedated for routine dental maintenance until the Horse’s body condition improved.
17.
On or about June 15, 2011, Plaintiff discovered an Internet advertisement for the Horse placed in 2010 by the Horse’s previous owner, Adrienne Bessey. Such advertisement prominently stated the Horse’s year ofbirth as 1991. Plaintiff contacted Ms. Bessey, who advised Plaintiff that Defendants had purchased the Horse from Ms. Bessey. Ms. Bessey also informed Plaintiff that Defendants had not paid Ms. Bessey in full for the Horse and therefore did not have clear title to the Horse at the time of the Horse’s sale to Plaintiff. Ms. Bessey also advised Plaintiff that the Horse was indeed born in 1991, which meant that the Horse was in fact 20 years old at the time of Plaintiffs purchase rather than 17 as Defendants had claimed. Ms. Bessey also advised Plaintiff that she had informed Defendants of the Horse’s birth year at the time of the Horse’s sale to Defendants.
18.
Using the information provided by Ms. Bessey, Plaintiff obtained the Horse’s lifetime competition records from USDF. These records show that the Horse had not
competed at an FEI level in a USDF-recognized competition since September 2005.
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Unlawful Trade Practices
in Violation of California Civil Code Section 1770(a)(5))
19.
Plaintiff incorporates by reference and realleges Paragraphs 1 through 18 herein.
20.
California Civil Code Section 176l(d) provides that “‘Consumer’ means an I individual who seeks or acquires, by purchase or lease, any goods or services for
personal, family, or household purposes.” Plaintiff purchased the Horse for her own personal use as an amateur dressage rider, and therefore Plaintiff is a “consumer” within the meaning of Section 1761(d).
21.
California Civil Code Section 1770(a)(5) provides that “The following unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any
person in a transaction intended to result or which results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful: Representing that the goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits or quantities which they
I do not have … “
22.
Defendants represented the Horse as being 17 years old at the time of Defendants’ sale of the Horse to Plaintiff. Such representation constituted an unfair or deceptive
practice within the meaning of Section 1770(a)(5) because the Horse was in fact 20 years old at the time of sale.
23.
Defendants represented the Horse as being a registered Thoroughbred at the time of Defendants’ sale of the Horse to Plaintiff. Such representation constituted an unfair or deceptive practice within the meaning of Section 1 770(a)(5) because the Horse is not in fact a Thoroughbred registered with The Jockey Club, the registrar of Thoroughbred horses in the United States. Alternatively, such representation constituted an unfair or deceptive practice within the meaning of Section 1770(a)(5) because Horse is a Thoroughbred registered with The Jockey Club, but Defendants did not provide Plaintiff with Horse’s registration papers and the documents necessary to transfer registration of Horse into Plaintiff’s name with The Jockey Club.
24.
Defendants represented to Plaintiff that Defendants owned the Horse at the time of Defendants’ sale of the Horse to Plaintiff. Such representation constituted an unfair or deceptive practice within the meaning of Section 1770(a)(5) because a third party, Ms. Bessey, in fact owned the Horse at the time of Defendants’ sale of the Horse to Plaintiff.
25.
Defendants represented to Plaintiff that the Horse was an “easy keeper” at the time of Defendants’ sale of the Horse to Plaintiff. Such representation constituted an
unfair or deceptive practice within the meaning of Section 1770(a)(5) because, as Defendants stated in a July 13, 2011 email to Plaintiff, the Horse is in fact a “hard
keeper.”
26.
Defendants represented to Plaintiff that the Horse was a ” fantastic FEI schoolmaster” at the time of Defendants’ sale of the Horse to Plaintiff. Such representation constituted an unfair or deceptive practice within the meaning of Section 1770(a)(5) because the Horse was in such poor physical condition at the time of Defendants’ sale of the Horse to Plaintiff that the Horse could not even be ridden, much less perfonn FEI-level dressage movements or help its rider learn such movements.
27.
California Civil Code Section 1780(a) provides, “Any consumer who suffers any damage as a result of the use or employment by any person of a method, act, or practice
declared to be unlawful by Section 1770 may bring an action against that person to recover or obtain any of the following: (1) Actual damages … (4) Punitive damages. (5)
Any other relief that the court deems proper.”
28.
Plaintiff seeks the remedy of rescission and restitution. The award of Plaintiffs actual damages would not make Plaintiff whole, as Plaintiff will continue to incur
significant further expenses in caring for the Horse as long as the Horse remains in Plaintiffs possession. The Horse, given its age and condition, is not readily saleable. Plaintiff currently incurs minimum costs in excess of $1,000.00 per month just for the Horse’s feed and bedding, and Plaintiff will also incur costs in unknown amounts for the Horse’s veterinary, chiropractic and farrier care. The Horse could live another ten years or more, and during such period, if Plaintiff retains possession of the Horse, Plaintiff will incur minimum costs of $120,000.00 just to pay for the Horse’s basic feed and bedding. Therefore, pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1780(a)(5), Plaintiff requests that the court award Plaintiff the remedy of rescission and award Plaintiffrestitution in the amount of$14,152.72. The amount of $14,152.72 is the sum of Plaintiffs out of pocket costs associated with the Horse as of August 8, 2011: The Horse’s purchase price; the cost of the pre-purchase veterinary examination of the Horse; the cost to ship the Horse to Plaintiff; the cost of veterinary, chiropractic and farrier care for the Horse; the cost of feed, bedding and supplements for the Horse; and the cost of adjusting Plaintiffs saddle to fit the Horse.
29.
As an alternative to rescission and restitution, Plaintiff seeks actual damages. As a direct result of Defendants’ unfair and deceptive acts, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the amount of $14,152.72, as detailed in Paragraph 28. Therefore, Plaintiff seeks recovery of actual damages pursuant to Section 1780( a)( 1) in the amount of $14,152.72.
30.
In connection with Defendants’ unfair and deceptive acts, Plaintiff also seeks punitive damages pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1780(a)( 4).
31.
Pursuant to Section 1780(a)(5), Plaintiff also requests that the court award Plaintiff the costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by Plaintiff in this action.
SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 19525(b ))
32.
Plaintiff incorporates by reference and real leges Paragraphs 1 through 31 herein.
33.
California Business and Professions Code Section 19525(b) provides, “Any sale, purchase or transfer of an equine shall be both of the following: ( I) Accompanied by a
written bill of sale or acknowledgment of purchase setting forth the purchase price. (2) Signed by both the purchaser and the seller or their duly authorized agents … “
34.
California Business and Professions Code Section 19525(a) provides, “For purposes of this section, “equine” means a horse of any breed used for racing or showing, including prospective racehorses, breeding prospects, stallions, stallion seasons, broodmares, yearling, or weanlings, or any interest therein.” Plaintiff purchased the Horse for the purpose of using Horse as a show horse, and therefore the Horse is an “equine” within the meaning of Section 1952S(a).
35.
Defendants failed to provide Plaintiff with a bill of sale or written acknowledgment of the Horse’s purchase price signed by Defendants and Plaintiff. Therefore, Defendants violated the provisions of Section 1952S(b ).
36.
In the horse industry, it is common practice to state the horse’s age or foaling year in a bill of sale. Plaintiff would not have completed the purchase of the Horse from
Defendants had Defendants presented Plaintiff with a bill of sale conforming to horse industry standards (i.e., a bill of sale indicating the Horse’s true age). Therefore,
Defendants’ failure to provide Plaintiff with a bill of sale pursuant to Section 19525(b) caused injury to Plaintiff
37.
Section 19525(g) provides, “Any person injured by a violation of this section shall recover treble damages from persons or entities violating this section.” Plaintiff’s
actual damages through August 8, 2011, as detailed in Paragraph 28, are $14,152.72. Therefore, Plaintiff seeks the award of treble damages pursuant to Section 19525(g) in the amount of $42,458.16.
 THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(For Rescission of Contract for Actual Fraud
Pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1689(b)(1))
38.
Plaintiff incorporates by reference and realleges Paragraphs 1 through 37 herein.
39.
California Civil Code Section 1572 provides, “Actual fraud, within the meaning of this Chapter, consists in any of the following acts, committed by a party to the contract, or with his connivance, with intent to deceive another party thereto or to induce him to enter into the contract: 1. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true, by
one who does not believe it to be true; 2. The positive assertion, in a manner not warranted by the information of the person making it, of that which is not true, though he
believes it to be true; 3. The suppression of that which is true, by one having knowledge or belief of the fact; 4. A promise made without any intention of performing it; or, 5. Any other act fitted to deceive.”
40.
Defendants represented the Horse to Plaintiff as being 17 years old. This representation was false. Defendants knew or should have known this representation was
false at the time Defendants made it. Defendants made such representation with the intent to deceive Plaintiff. Defendants also made such representation for the purpose of inducing Plaintiff to enter into a contract to purchase the Horse. Therefore, such representation constituted actual fraud pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1572.
41.
Defendants represented the Horse to Plaintiff as being a registered Thoroughbred. This representation was false. Defendants knew or should have known this representation was false at the time Defendants made it. Defendants made such representation with the intent to deceive Plaintiff. Defendants also made such
representation for the purpose of inducing Plaintiff to enter into a contract to purchase the Horse. Therefore, such representation constituted actual fraud pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1572.
42.
Defendants represented the Horse to Plaintiff as being a “fantastic FEI schoolmaster.” This representation was false. Defendants either knew or should have known this representation was false at the time Defendants made it. Defendants made such representation with the intent to deceive Plaintiff. Defendants also made such representation for the purpose of inducing Plaintiff to enter into a contract to purchase the Horse. Therefore, such representation constituted actual fraud pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1572.
43.
Defendants represented that Defendants had clear title to the Horse at the time of sale. This representation was false. Defendants either knew or should have known this representation was false at the time Defendants made it. Defendants made such representation with the intent to deceive Plaintiff. Defendants also made such representation for the purpose of inducing Plaintiff to enter into a contract to purchase the Horse. Therefore, such representation constituted actual fraud pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1572.
44.
Plaintiff entered into a contract with Defendants to purchase the Horse.
45.
California Civil Code Section 1689(b) provides, “A party to a contract may rescind the contract in the following cases: (1) If the consent of the party rescinding… was given by mistake, or obtained through duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence, exercised by or with the connivance of the party as to whom he rescinds…” Plaintiffs consent to the contract to purchase the Horse was obtained through Defendants’ fraud. Therefore, Plaintiff seeks rescission of the contract to purchase the Horse and restitution in the amount of $14,152.72.
46.
California Civil Code Section 1692 provides, “If in an action or proceeding a party seeks relief based upon rescission, the court may require the party to whom such
relief is granted to make any compensation to the other which justice may require and may otherwise in its judgment adjust the equities between the parties.” Therefore,
Plaintiff requests that the court award Plaintiff costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees pursuant to Section 1692.
FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(For Breach of Contract)
47.
Plaintiff incorporates by reference and realleges Paragraphs 1 through 46 herein.
48.
Plaintiff entered into an oral contract with Defendants to purchase a 17 year old registered Thoroughbred that was an “easy keeper” and a “fantastic FEI schoolmaster,”
and to which Defendants had clear title.
49.
Defendants breached such contract by failing to deliver a horse meeting the description set forth in Paragraph 48. Such breach was material.
50.
Plaintiff fully performed Plaintiff s obligations pursuant to the contract.
51.
As a result of Defendants’ material breach, Plaintiff seeks rescission of the contract and restitution in the amount of $14,152.72. Alternatively, Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $14,152.72.
FIFTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Breach of Implied Warranty of Good Title)
52.
Plaintiff incorporates by reference and realleges Paragraphs 1 through 51 herein.
53.
California Commercial Code Section 2102 provides that the California Commercial Code “applies to transactions in goods…” California Commercial Code Section 2105(1) provides, “‘Goods’ means all things (including specially manufactured goods) which are movable at the time of identification to the contract for sale…” The Horse was movable at the time of its identification to the contract for its purchase. Therefore the contract between the Plaintiff and the Defendants for the purchase of the Horse is subject to the California Commercial Code.
54.
California Commercial Code Section 2312(1) provides, “[T]here is in a contract for sale a warranty by the seller that (a) The title conveyed shall be good, and its transfer
rightful; and (b) The goods shall be delivered free from any security interest or other lien or encumbrance of which the buyer at the time of contracting has no knowledge.” At the time of sale of the Horse to Plaintiff, Defendants did not have good title to the Horse, and therefore the attempted transfer of title to Plaintiff was not rightful. At the time of sale to Plaintiff, the Horse was encumbered by the security interest of a third party, and Plaintiff was unaware of this security interest at the time of sale. Defendants’ lack of good title and the existence of a third party’s security interest in the Horse constituted a breach of the implied warranty of good title in the contract between Plaintiff and Defendants for the purchase of the Horse.
55.
California Commercial Code Section 2601 provides in part, “If the goods or tender of delivery fail in any respect to conform to the contract, the buyer may (a) Reject the whole; (b) Accept the whole; or (c) Accept any commercial unit or units and reject the rest.” Plaintiff accepted the horse, notwithstanding the Horse’s failure to conform to
the contract.
56.
Plaintiff is entitled to damages for Defendants’ breach of the implied warranty of good title. California Commercial Code Section 2714(2) provides, “The measure of damages for breach of warranty is the difference at the time and place of acceptance between the value of the goods accepted and the value they would have had if they had been as warranted, unless special circumstances show proximate damages of a different amount.” Had the Horse been as warranted, the Horse’s fair market value at the time of sale would have been $12,000.00. At the time of sale, the Horse’s fair market value was $1,000.00. Therefore, Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $11,000.00, the difference between the value of the Horse as delivered and the value of the Horse if the Horse had been as warranted. Plaintiff also seeks proximate damages in the amount of $5,652.72, the out of pocket costs incurred by Plaintiff in caring for the Horse as of August 8, 2011.
SIXTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Breach of Express Warranties)
57.
Plaintiff incorporates by reference and realleges Paragraphs 1 through 56 herein.
58.
Section 2313(1) of the California Commercial Code provides, “Express warranties by the seller are created as follows: (a) Any affirmation of fact or promise made by the seller to the buyer which relates to the goods and becomes part of the basis of the bargain creates an express warranty that the goods shall conform to the affirmation
or promise, (b) Any description of the goods which is made part of the basis of the bargain creates an express warranty that the goods will conform to the description.”
59.
At the time of Plaintiff s purchase, Defendants represented to Plaintiff that the Horse was 17 years old. This representation constituted an express warranty. The Horse’s age was an essential part of the bargain between Plaintiff and Defendant. The Horse failed to conform to this express warranty because the Horse was in fact 20 years
old at the time of Plaintiff s purchase.
60.
At the time of Plaintiff s purchase, Defendants represented to Plaintiff that the Horse was an “easy keeper” and “had never had any health issues.” These representations constituted express warranties and were an essential part of the bargain between Plaintiff and Defendant. The Horse failed to conform to these express warranties because the Horse is, by Defendants’ own admission, a “hard keeper” who has difficulty maintaining healthy weight and muscle tone.
61.
At the time of Defendants’ sale of the Horse to Plaintiff, Defendants represented to Plaintiff that the Horse was a registered Thoroughbred. This representation constituted an express warranty and was an essential part of the bargain between Plaintiff and Defendants. The Horse failed to conform to this express warranty because the Horse is not in fact a Thoroughbred registered with The Jockey Club. Alternatively, the Horse failed to conform to this express warranty because Defendants did not provide Plaintiff with the Horse’s registration papers and the documents necessary to transfer registration of the Horse into Plaintiff s name with The Jockey Club.
62.
At the time of Defendants’ sale of the Horse to Plaintiff, Defendants represented the Horse as a “fantastic FEI schoolmaster” and “Confirmed in all FEI movements. Solid tempis, half passes, confirmed full pirouettes, confirmed piaffe.” These representations constituted express warranties to Plaintiff and were essential parts of the bargain between Plaintiff and Defendants. The Horse failed to conform to these express warranties because the Horse, at the time of delivery to Plaintiff, was not even fit to ride, much less capable of performing any of the FEI movements specifically named by Defendants or helping Plaintiff learn such movements.
63.
California Commercial Code Section 2601 provides in part, ” If the goods or tender of delivery fail in any respect to conform to the contract, the buyer may (a) Reject the whole; (b) Accept the whole; or (c) Accept any commercial unit or units and reject the rest.” Plaintiff accepted the Horse, notwithstanding the Horse’s failure to conform.
64.
Plaintiff is entitled to damages for Defendants’ breaches of express warranties. California Commercial Code Section 2714(2) provides, “The measure of damages for
breach of warranty is the difference at the time and place of acceptance between the value of the goods accepted and the value they would have had i f they had been as warranted, unless special circumstances show proximate damages of a different amount.” Had the Horse been as warranted, the Horse’s fair market value at the time of sale would have been $12,000.00. At the time of sale, the Horse’s fair market value was $1,000.00. Therefore, Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $11,000.00, the difference between the value of the Horse as delivered and the value of the Horse if the Horse had been as warranted. Plaintiff also seeks proximate damages in the amount of $5,652.72, the out of pocket costs incurred by Plaintiff in caring for the Horse as of August 8, 2011.
SEVENTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Breach of Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose)
Plaintiff incorporates by reference and realleges Paragraphs 1 through 64 herein.
66.
Section 2315 of the California Commercial Code provides, “Where the seller at time of contracting has reason to know any particular purpose for which the goods are
required and that buyer is relying on the seller’s skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods, there is… an implied warranty that the goods shall be fit for such
purpose.”
67.
Here, Defendants had reason to know that Plaintiff sought an FEI schoolmaster the purpose of learning FEI-level dressage movements, training for FEI-level dressage and eventually competing in FEI-level dressage. Defendants also had reason to know that Plaintiff was relying on Defendants’ skill and judgment about the Horse. These facts created an implied warranty that the Horse, at the time of sale, was fit for the purpose of serving as an FEI schoolmaster, i.e., performing FEI-level dressage movements and helping Plaintiff learn such movements. The Horse failed to conform to this warranty because the Horse, at the time of delivery to Plaintiff, was not even fit to ride, much less capable of performing FEI-level dressage movements or helping Plaintiff learn such movements.
68.
California Commercial Code Section 2601 provides in part, “If the goods or tender of delivery fail in any respect to conform to the contract, the buyer may (a) Reject
the whole; (b) Accept the whole; or (c) Accept any commercial unit or units and reject the rest.” Plaintiff accepted the Horse, notwithstanding the Horse’s failure to conform to the contract.
69.
Plaintiff is entitled to damages for Defendants’ breach of the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. California Commercial Code Section 2714(2) provides,
“The measure of damages for breach of warranty is the difference at the time and place of acceptance between the value of the goods accepted and the value they would have had if they had been as warranted, unless special circumstances show proximate damages of a different amount.” Had the Horse been as warranted, the Horse’s fair market value at the time of sale would have been $12,000.00. At the time of sale, the Horse’s fair market value was $1,000.00. Therefore, Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $11,000.00, the difference between the value of the Horse as delivered and the value of the Horse if the Horse had been as warranted. Plaintiff also seeks proximate damages in the amount of $5,652.72, the out of pocket costs incurred by Plaintiff in caring for the Horse as of August 8, 2011.
EIGHTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability)
70.
Plaintiff incorporates by reference and realleges Paragraphs 1 through 69 herein.
71.
Section 2314(1) of the California Commercial Code provides, “[A] warranty that the goods shall be merchantable is implied in a contract for their sale i f the seller is a
 merchant with respect to goods of that kind. Section 2104( 1) of the California  Commercial Code provides that “‘Merchant’ means a person who deals in goods of the kind or otherwise by his occupation holds himself out as having knowledge or skill particular to the practices or goods involved in the transaction…”
72.
Defendants are in the business of training, selling and competing on upper-level dressage horses. Therefore, Defendants are “merchants” for the purposes of the
California Commercial Code and specifically merchants of upper-level dressage horses (the same type of goods as the Horse) for the purposes of Section 2314(1) of the California Commercial Code.
73.
Because Defendants are merchants of upper-level dressage horses, Defendants’ sale of Horse to Plaintiff contained an implied warranty that Horse was “merchantable.” Section 2104(2) of the California Commercial Code provides, “Goods to be merchantable must be at least such as (a) Pass without objection in the trade under the contract description… (c) Are fit for the ordinary purposes for which such goods are used.”
74.
The Horse did not conform to the implied warranty of merchantability because the time of sale, Horse would not pass without objection in the upper-level dressage
trade. Indeed, Defendants themselves described Horse’s condition post-sale as “horrible.” Additionally, at the time of sale, the Horse did not conform to the implied
warranty of merchantability because Horse was not fit for the ordinary purposes of an upper-level dressage horse, specifically performing upper-level dressage movements.
75.
California Commercial Code Section 2601 provides in part, ” I f the goods or tender of delivery fail in any respect to conform to the contract, the buyer may (a) Reject
the whole; (b) Accept the whole; or (c) Accept any commercial unit or units and reject the rest.” Plaintiff accepted the Horse, notwithstanding the Horse’s failure to conform to the contract.
76.
Plaintiff is entitled to damages for Defendants’ breach of the implied warranty of merchantability. California Commercial Code Section 2714(2) provides, “The measure
of damages for breach of warranty is the difference at the time and place of acceptance between the value of the goods accepted and the value they would have had if they had been as warranted, unless special circumstances show proximate damages of a different amount.” Had the Horse been as warranted, the Horse’s fair market value at the time of sale would have been $12,000.00. At the time of sale, the Horse’s fair market value was $ 1,000.00. Therefore, Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $ 11,000.00, the difference between the value of the Horse as delivered and the value of the Horse if the Horse had been as warranted. Plaintiff also seeks proximate damages in the amount of $5,652.72, the out of pocket costs incurred by Plaintiff in caring for the Horse as of August 8, 2011.
RELIEF REQUESTED
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendants, jointly and severally, as follows:
For Unfair Trade Practice in Violation of California Civil Code Section 1770(a)(5)
 1. For actual damages in the amount of $14,152.72 pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1780(a)(1); and
2. For punitive damages pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1780(a)(4); and
3. For the actual costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by Plaintiff in this action pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1780(a)(5); and
4. For such other and further relief as the court shall deem equitable.
5. Alternatively to 1-4 above, for rescission of the sale of the Horse and restitution to Plaintiff in the amount of $14,152.72 pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1780(a)(5); and
6. For punitive damages pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1780(a)(4); and
7. For the actual costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by Plaintiff in this action pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1780(a)(5); and
8. For such other and further relief as the court shall deem equitable.
Violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 19525(b)
1. For treble damages in the amount of $42,458.16 pursuant to California Business and Professions Code Section 19525(g); and
2. For such other and further relief as the court shall deem equitable.
Rescission of Contract for Actual Fraud
1. For rescission of the sale of the Horse and restitution to Plaintiff in the amount of $14,152.72 pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1689(b)(1); and
2. For the actual costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by Plaintiff in this action pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1692.
For Breach of Contract
1. For rescission of the sale of the Horse and restitution to Plaintiff in amount of $14,152.72; and
2. For such other and further relief as the court shall deem equitable.
3. Alternatively to 1-2 above, for damages in the amount of $14,152.72; and
4. For such other and further relief as the court shall deem equitable.
For Breach of Implied Warranty of Good Title
1. For damages in the amount of $16,652.72 pursuant to California Commercial Code Section 2714(2); and
2. For such other and further relief as the court shall deem equitable.
For Breach of Express Warranties
1. For damages in the amount of $16,652.72 pursuant to California Commercial Code Section 2714(2); and
2. For such other and further relief as the court shall deem equitable.
For Breach of Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose
1. For damages in the amount of $16,652.72 pursuant to California Commercial Code Section 2714(2); and
2. For such other and further relief as the court shall deem equitable.
For Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability
1. For damages in the amount of $16,652.72 pursuant to California Commercial Code Section 2714(2); and
2. For such other and further relief as the court shall deem equitable.
DATED this 8th day of August, 2011
Charna Watts, Plaintiff
VERIFICATION
I , Charna Watts, am the Plaintiff in the above-entitled action. I have read the foregoing
Complaint and know the contents thereof. The same is true of my own knowledge, except
as to those matters which are therein alleged on information and belief, and as to those
matters, I believe it to be true.
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct and that this
declaration was executed at Powderly, Texas.
DATED this 8th day of August, 2011
Charna Watts, Plaintiff
aka
Kenneth Ryan Bell
Ryan Bell
Ryan Bell Knol

Default Judgment against Ryan Bell for $52,128.32 

 
 
 Now does business under the name MRK Dressage in Georgia.