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$40 Second Hand Printer Sale Results In Thousands Of Dollars In Legal Fees

One man had an old printer he didn't need anymore, so he decided to make a few bucks by selling it on Craigslist. That sale earned him $40, but resulted in thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees, not to mention six years’ worth of headaches.

Doug Costello put his used printer up for sale in 2009. It has only cost him $75, so he sold it for $40, including shipping. The 66-year-old Massachusetts man never dreamed when he tried to sell his printer that it would result in a vicious legal battle lasting years, and cost him more than $12,000.

Gersh Zavodnik of Indiana purchased the printer. The Ukrainian immigrant claims the machine was broken and he sued Costello for $6,000.

Since Zavodnik threw the printer out, the case was initially dismissed. Without the 'smoking gun,' he had no evidence. Costello thought that would be the end of the matter.

Zavodnik has a long history of suing people. He's filed a couple of hundred claims, mostly for things he purchased online. "I cannot go and beat people on the knees like they did back in Russia," he said. He wasn't through with Costello.

Costello received a filing of admissions claiming the man was liable for $30,000 for breach of contract, fraud, conversion, deceptive advertising and emotional distress. He wanted Costello to sign the agreement. Costello ignored it.

That case was also dismissed, but in 2012 Zavodnik got an appeal, and the lawsuit was revived. The suit went to trial, for nine long months. Zavodnik kept sending requests for admissions of liability in ridiculous six-figure amounts, which Costello continued to ignore.

With the mess that ensued, Costello was forced to hire an attorney to handle the matter. One judge ruled against Costello and awarded Zavodnik more than $30,000. Costello didn't know that not responding to a filing of admissions is in itself an admission of liability.

Thankfully, another judge overturned the ruling, much to Costello's relief. "I've had this huge weight, this financial and emotional weight for six and a half years," he said.

But it might not be over-- Zavodnik has taken the new ruling to an appeals court.

Source: Mail Online

Photo: Toner Save

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