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Laurie Ryan PLAINTIFF v. Sharon McCusker and Kaiyun Lang DEFENDANTS.

No. 13-824
 
COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY
This is a civil action for damages sustained by the Plaintiff, Laurie Ryan, challenging the
actions of Sharon McCusker and Kaiyun Lang, Defendants.

INTRODUCTION
This matter concerns the sale of a horse, Manchet Montana, by owner Defendant Kaiyun Land
and her agent and horse trainer, Defendant Sharon McCusker to the Plaintiff, Laurie Ryan. Upon
receiving Manchet, Plaintiff notified the Defendants that Manchet was a nonconforming good,
because he did not possess the abilities and characteristics the Defendants represented he
possessed to my client, which were the basis of the bargain. Plaintiff rejected acceptance of
Manchet, in the alternative revoked her acceptance, in a timely manner to Defendants, who in
turn, offered adequate assurances Manchet would get better with time. Manchet failed to “get
better” both in his physical abilities and characteristics. Upon Plaintiffs demand the Defendants
accept the return of Manchet and refund her purchase price, Defendants refused and Plaintiff is
filing this action.
PARTIES
1. The Plaintiff, Laurie Ryan (hereinafter “Plaintiff’ or “Laurie Ryan”), is an individual
with her residence in Willard, Missouri.
2. Defendant Sharon McCusker (“Defendant McCusker”) is an individual with her
residence in the Town of Ashby Massachusetts, County of Middlesex. Defendant
McCusker owns and operates Souhegan Farm, a classical dressage training business that
also conducts horse sales.
3. Defendant Kaiyun Lang (“Defendant Lang”) is an individual with her residence in the
Town of Wellesley Massachusetts, County of Norfolk.
JURIDICTION AND VENUE
4. Jurisdiction is properly conferred by GL c. 212 §4 and c223A §2 and 3
5. Venue is proper under GL 223 §1.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
6. On or about November 9, 2012, Laurie Ryan bought Manchet Montana, a Bay Trakehner
gelding, foaled in 1998 (“Manchet”) for twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) trom
Defendant Lang, Manchet’s owner.
7. Defendant McCusker was Defendant Lang’s agent for Manchet’s sale: Manchet was
boarded (kept) at her facility in Ashby; she marketed Manchet, showed and presented
Manchet to Laurie Ryan.
8. Defendant McCusker is a “USEF long listed FEI Grand Prix rider and trainer with 30
years experience training and competing, and 20 years riding at the FEI level. Sharon has
trained many top FEI competition horses and takes special pride in developing and
training her own FEI horses. Sharon also has had years of experience carefully selecting
top quality dressage horses in Europe for the US market, as well as taking in quality
horses for training and resale for private owners.” (copied from Defendant’s website
www.sougheganfarm.com)
9. Manchet was advertised has having a “wonderful temperament and work ethic”; “quite to
hack and easy to work round”; “a confidence builder”; Manchest is sound and healthy
and ready to each a new rider.” Exhibit A: Manchet Montana internet advertisement.
I 0. Prior to purchasing Manchet, Laurie Ryan visited Souhegan Farm, and explained to
Defendant McCusker in detail the specific characteristics she sought in a horse: she
wanted a trained horse with experience in dressage and who was suitable for an Adult
Amateur that rides and shows alone with access to instruction 1- 2 times per month, a
horse that is solid at Second Level Dressage schooling and higher, and a horse that is a
good hauler and traveler. Based upon Defendant McCusker’s representations ofManchet,
and his advertisement detailing his history in show and performance, Plaintiff decided to
purchase Manchet.
II. Manchet’s sale was a verbal agreement between the Defendants and Lauric Ryan.
12. Manchet was transported from Ashby Massachusetts to Plaintiffs home in Missouri; he
arrived in Missouri on or about November 25, 2012.
13. On or about November 27, in response to Plaintiffs email, Defendant McClusker
emailed Plaintiff an unsigned bill of sale for Manchet. Plaintiff had never seen, nor was
she aware, of any bill of sale for Manchet.
14. Later that day, November 27, 2012, Plaintiff voiced her concern about Manchet to
Defendant McCusker, stating Manchet was unmanageable: he would not tie, he was
difficult to lead, touch and tack up. Defendant McCusker told Plaintiff that Manchet just
needed time to settle in.
15. On or about November 28, 2012, Laurie Ryan again notified Defendant McCusker of her
concerns regarding Manchet, reiterating the same concerns she expressed just the day
before. Laurie Ryan rode Manchet the day before and Manchet was almost unmanageable
to handle and tack up, he was anxious, “hot”, and nonresponse to the aids. In her email,
Laurie Ryan demanded the return of the $25,000.00 for Manchet.
16. Defendant McCusker again told Laurie Ryan to give Manchet time to settle in to his new
environment. She reassured Laurie Ryan that she would “find him to be a fun ride”.
17. On or about December I, 2012, Laurie Ryan had another discussion with Defendant
McCusker about Manchet over the telephone. Again, she voiced her concerns with
Manchet’s behavior and issues under saddle after hauling him to another facility and
riding him there. Defendant McCusker advised her again to give him time to settle in, to
do more groundwork with him, to use a stud chain, and to “suck it up and get over it”
because Manchet is a “great horse”.
18. On or about December 10,2012, Laurie Ryan and Defendant McCusker spoke via the
telephone after Manchet was seen by Laurie Ryan’s veterinarian at Spragg Veterinary
Clinic. She informed Defendant McCusker that Manchet did not pass the flexion tests
and that the veterinarian told her to return Manchet, he was not going to be physically
able to perform as she had been promised.
19. In addition, Plaintiffs veterinarian declared Manchet unsound in his left hindleg and
“down” in both rear pasterns due to old desmitis of the suspensory apparatus.
20. Laurie Ryan rejected Manchet, and notified Defendant McCusker as to such rejection, in
a timely fashion.
21. In the alternative, Laurie Ryan revoked acceptance of Manchet, and notified Defendant
McCusker as to said revocation in a timely fashion.
22. As of the date of this filing, Defendants refuse to refund Laurie Ryan’s purchase monies
or to take possession of Manchet. Manchet is incurring daily boarding fees at my client’s
facility of twenty dollars and no cents ($20.00) per day. In order to mitigate her damages,
Laurie Ryan has posted Manchet for sale (and notice was provided to Defendants of her
intent to do so) and continued to exercise him to maintain his health.
23. Plaintiff is incurring $20.00 (twenty dollars and no cents) in daily boarding costs for
Manchet; additional expenses include but are not limited to veterinary care and farrier.
These costs will continue as this litigation progresses and the Plaintiff seeks
reimbursement of these costs in damages sought form Defendants.
STATEMENT OF CLAIMS

COUNT I – BREACH OF CONTRACT
24. The Plaintiff restates re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-22 of the
Complaint as set forth above.
25. In response to Defendants advertisement for Manchet, Plaintiff offered, and Defendants
accepted, $25,000.00 for Manchet.
26. Plaintiff and Defendants entered into a verbal valid contract that required Defendants to
provide Plaintiff with a horse that was wound, well-trained, of good temperament, safe,
reliable and suiting for riding, handling and showing.
27. Plaintiff performed all acts required of her under the contract, including payment of the
fnll purchase price to the Defendants.
28. Defendant failed to do what the contract required of them: Manchest was unsound, of bad
temperament, dangerous at times to handle, and unquestionably unfit to be handled or
shown as stated he was.
29. Upon learning of this, Plaintiff rejected Manchct, or in the alternative, revoked her
acceptance ofManchet, timely notifying Defendants of said revocation. MGLA 106 §2-
606 and 607.
30. The Defendants are liable to Plaintiff for damages she incurred as a result of said breach
in an amount within the jurisdiction of this court.
COUNT II – BREACH OF EXPRESS WARRANTY
31. The Plaintiff restates re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-27 of the
Complaint as set forth above.
32. An express warranty is created by a seller when “any affirmation of fact or promise made
by the seller to the buyer which related to the goods and becomes part of the basis of the
bargain creates an express warranty that the good shall conform to the affirmation or
promise. Any description of the goods which is made part of the basis of the bargain
creates an express warranty that the goods shall conform to the description”. MGLA 106
§ 2-313 (year). Finally, the word “warrant” or “guarantee” does not have to be used in
order to create an express warranty. Id.
33. Evidenced herein, Defendants made several express warranties, in writing and verbally,
to the Plaintiff concerning Manchet’ s abilities, temperament, and work ethic.
34. These express warranties became the basis of the bargain and the Defendants did not
disclaim them. MGLA 106 §2-316.
35. As a result of Defendants breach of express warranties, they are liable to the Plaintiff for
damages in an amount within the jurisdiction of this court.
COUNT III – BREACH OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES
36. The Plaintiff restates re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-32 of the
Complaint as set forth above.
37. In the sale of goods, unless satisfactorily disclaimed, “a warranty that the goods shall be
merchantable is implied in a contract for their sale if the seller is a merchant with respect
to goods of that kind”. MGLA 106 §2-314(1).
38. Plaintiff intended to use Manchet as a show/dressage horse, which is an ordinary use for a
horse under the implied warranty of merchantability. Defendants knew Plaintiffs
intended use for Manchet.
39. Whereas the Defendants did not disclaim the implied warranty of merchantability, said
warranty applied to the sale of Manchet.
40. Similarly, in a sale of goods, where the merchant “has reason to know any particular
purpose for which goods are required and the buyer is relying on the seller’s skill or
judgment to select .. suitable goods, there is unless excluded or modified … an implied
warranty that the goods shall be fit for such purpose”. MGLA 106 §2-315.
41. Whereas, Plain tifT informed Defendant McCusker of the specific characteristics and uses
she sought in a horse and Plaintiff relied upon Defendant McCusker to choose a suitable
horse, the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose was created.
42. Defendants did not disclaim the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose,
therefore said warranty applied to the sale of Manchet.
43. To modify or exclude an implied warranty, certain language, such as “as is” or “with all
faults” must be used. MLGA 106 §2-316. Here, Defendants did not disclaim any implied
warranties, thus both warranties attached to Manchct’s sale.
44. As a result of Defendants breach of the implied warranties, they are liable to the Plaintiff
for damages in an amount within the jurisdiction of this court.
COUNT IV- FRAUD
45. The Plaintiff restates re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-42 of the
Complaint as set forth above.
46. Defendants told Plaintiff Manchet had an excellent temperament and was healthy. To the
contrary, Manchet was not healthy nor did have an excellent temperament. Plaintiffs
intentionally misrepresented Manchet as “sound” to Plaintiff and in their advertisements
for Manchet’s sale. Exhibit A.
4 7. Defendant McCusker, a professional trainer, knew Manchet was not suitable for the
purposes Plaintiff intended to use Manchet. She knew Manchet was not suitable for a
novice owner or a “new rider”, however marketed him as such, inducing Plaintiff to
purchase Manchet.
48. The Defendants intentionally misrepresented Manchet’s abilities and experiences to
Plaintiff. Defendant knew the Pliatinff would not have purchased Manchet if she had
known the truth about Manchet’s condition, temperament, training, abilities and
unsoundness.
49. The Plaintiff justifiably relied upon Defendants’ fraudulent statements and deceptive
marketing tactics in her decision to purchase Manchet. Plaintiff relied upon the written
and oral representations and warranties from Defendants regarding Manchet’s condition,
suitability, temperament, training, soundess and qualities.
50. Defendants were fully aware ofPiaitniffs reliance upon their representations and aware
of the falsity of their representations as applied to Manchet.
51. Plaintiff was unable to show Manchet in any events since purchasing him.
52. Manchet has no value whatsoever as a shoe horse for Plaintiff and limited value far
below the sale price that Plaintiff paid to the Defendants.
53. As a result of Defendant’ fraudulent words, they are liable to the Plaintiff for damages in
an amount within the jurisdiction of this court.
COUNT V-NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATION
54. The Plaintiff restates re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-41 of the
Complaint as set forth above.
55. In the alternative, the representations and warranties of Defendants with response to
Manchet’s condition, suitability, temperament, training, soundness and abilities were
made without malice but nevertheless were false, misleading or omitted material facts
and had the effect of deceiving the Plaintiff.
56. In the course of selling horses, specifically in the sale of Manchet to Plaintiff, Defendants
supplied false information concerning Manchet’s disposition and abilities to Plaintiff,
prior and during the sale, that resulted in Plaintiff suffering significant monetary
damages. Plaintiff relied upon Defendants misrepresentations concerning Manchet’s
abilities and temperament.
57. Plaintiff relied on the oral and written representations of Defendants in making her
decision to purchase Manchet and, in the exercise of due care and diligence on her part,
could not have known of the false, misleading or omitted material facts.
58. Defendants failed to act with reasonable care or competence in communicating
Manchet’s true physical limitations, abilities and temperament. But for Defendants’
representations, Plaintiff would not have purchased Manchet.
59. As a result of Defendants’ negligent misrepresentations, they are liable to the Plaintiff for
damages in an amount within the jurisdiction of this court.
COUNT VI – RESCISSION: MUTUAL MISTAKE/FAILURE OF CONSIDERATION
60. The Plaintiff restates re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-57 of the
Complaint as set forth above.
61. In the alternative, all parties labored under the false impression that Manchet was a show
horse that was capable of being handled, ridden and shown competitively and
immediately by the Plaintiff: and that only in that condition was Manchet worth the sales
price the Plaintiff paid the Defendants.
62. Plaintiff would not have agreed to purchase Manchet at the agreed-upon purchase price
or at any price if Defendants had not made the misrepresentations.
63. Therefore, there has been a mutual mistake of fact and a total failure of consideration.
64. As a direct and proximate results of the Defendants’ misrepresentations, upon which that
include the cost of Manchet as well as substantial ongoing expenses in maintaining
Manchet that include, but are not limited to, medications, training, supplements, food and
hay, veterinary expenses, and farrier expenses.
REQUESTS FOR RELIEF
65. Plaintiff is entitled to the damages in the amount of $25,000.00, Montana’s purchase
price, plus interest.
66. Plaintiff is entitled to damages for the cost, care and control expenses she has incurred
while Manchet is in her possession. This includes but is not limited to: the cost of
Manchet’s transportation to Missouri from Massachusetts ($900.00), veterinarian, farrier
and trainer costs (in excess of $3200.00), major medical/mortality insurance ($900.00)
and boarding (at $20.00 per day).
67. Plaintiff claims damages in an amount to be determined for Defendants’ negligent
misrepresentation and fraud.
68. Plaintiff seeks other relief as the Court deems just.
JURY DEMAND
69. The Plaintiff demands a trial by jury on all issues so triable.WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff prays that, after trial, that a judgment be entered in her favor
against the Defendants ordering:
A. Plaintiff will be awarded money damages which will compensate her for her costs and
expenses relating to Manchet Montana’s purchase;
B. Rescind the sale of Manchet:
C. Plaintiff will be awarded reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs;
D. Defendants pay the Plaintiff interest on any judgment entered in her favor for the date
that this civil action was filed; and
E. Such further relief as this Honorable Court deems just and proper and/or which will
make the Plaintiff whole.

Respectfully Submitted,

Laurie Ryan
By her Attorney,

Patricia Morris

View Complaint

Jury finds for the defendant