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Old December 30, 2012, 06:28 PM   #1
Alabama Shooter
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Dick's Sporting Goods Customers Threaten Class Action Suit

Dicks may be in the courtroom for another class action suit. The long and short of it is that they are not going to honor purchases agreements made since Thanksgiving. So if you have something on order from them you might check on it.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes...r-gun-ban.html

Seems dirty to me. I am guessing they got caught short in the ordering of rifles and now that the prices are way up they are facing losses. That is just a guess on though.
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:11 PM   #2
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Posted on Dick's Facebook page:

I was in of a group of vets discussing Dick’s at the Patrick AFB gym this week. No one is going to buy anything at Dick’s as long as you maintain your anti-gun policy.
We support the Constitution. You don’t. We’ll spend our money elsewhere.
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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It looks like Dick's is refunding their money, so proving damages would be difficult at best.
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:42 PM   #4
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Yep. Everyone wants to claim to be some sort of victim. When in doubt, threat to sue or sue, but what are the damages, as Tom points out.

I found this comment from the article cited interesting...

Quote:
“What makes this situation even more frustrating is that I am a law enforcement officer and purchased this rifle specifically to use while on duty,” a gun owner told Military Times. “My agency allows us to carry rifles, but cannot afford to issue one to every member.”
As I recall from my police friends, LEO discounts through the manufacturer or wholesale vendors are often substantial and certainly better than what your typical individual could do buying retail from Dick's. I think this officer might have been done a favor.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:00 PM   #5
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I don't think plaintiffs would have any chance of winning. If you ordered an AR last month and tried to order the same one today you certainly would be out some extra cash.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabama Shooter
I don't think plaintiffs would have any chance of winning. If you ordered an AR last month and tried to order the same one today you certainly would be out some extra cash.
I would expect that to be the focus of the suit, and the price difference will be the damages. To me it looks like a simple breach of contract case. Dick's took money from customers and made a promise to deliver a specific firearm in exchange. Now Dick's doesn't want to produce the firearms.

I hate Dick's. This just adds yet another reason.
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Old December 31, 2012, 09:44 AM   #7
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I simply stopped doing business with Dick's Sporting – a few bad quarters and the knuckleheads that made this decision will be gone and replaced with clear headed executivces.

Boycott Dick’s and their liberal agenda
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Old December 31, 2012, 10:33 AM   #8
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Tom Servo, I am not an attorney, but I would think the approach would be:

I could have bought elsewhere for $900.

Dick's only wanted $850, so I bought from them, not the other seller.

Dick's took my money; a contract was made.

Now, Dick's has refunded my money, but breached the contract; other sources now cost $1300. Dick's breach cost me $400, so I want $400 plus court costs.
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Old December 31, 2012, 11:21 AM   #9
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Troy industries certianly have a good case for a lawsuit. They lost big time on their AR introduction which was taking place through Dick's sporting goods.
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Old December 31, 2012, 11:26 AM   #10
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If I were Troy I would sue for the list of customers with whom Dicks broke their contract and sell directly to them. This would solve everyone's problem quite quickly and cut Dicks right out of the picture.
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Old December 31, 2012, 11:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLeake
Tom Servo, I am not an attorney, but I would think the approach would be:

I could have bought elsewhere for $900.

Dick's only wanted $850, so I bought from them, not the other seller.

Dick's took my money; a contract was made.

Now, Dick's has refunded my money, but breached the contract; other sources now cost $1300. Dick's breach cost me $400, so I want $400 plus court costs.
That seems a correct analysis except for the last part. If Dick's had a contract to provide specific items, I would say that Dick's owes either the item or the full market price for the item whenever this matter is resolved.

If this were to resolve one year from now and that $900 item has risen to $9000, $400 would not be a sufficient remedy. On the other hand, if this blows over and the market is awash in $700 ARs, there arguably is no damage.
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Old December 31, 2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
On the other hand, if this blows over and the market is awash in $700 ARs, there arguably is no damage.
That's probably going to be the situation by the time any case would be heard.

Others will have a better handle on this area of the law than I do, but consequential damages are a tricky area, and they're usually limited to 10% of the loss. So, if I paid $900 for a gun, Dick's refunded my money, and it would cost me $1300 to buy it elsewhere, I'd recover $40.

The cost of even talking the matter over with legal counsel dwarfs that. This also assumes I can prove significant hardship to the court in the first place.
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Old December 31, 2012, 12:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
That's probably going to be the situation by the time any case would be heard.
I very much hope so.

These matters will vary by state. In my state, where a vendor or has taken a deposit from a consumer, and fails to deliver the item within a reasonable time, the vendor may be exposing himself to treble damages and reasonable attorneys fees.

I do not know the facts of this situation, so my comment isn't anything like a legal condemnation of Dick's. If the fact of this situation is that the chain of supply so completely buggered that obtaining the ARs to fill very recent orders is not possible, then returning the deposits for recent orders seems reasonable. That is very much distinguishable from returning deposits on $850 orders so that the same items can be sold in new $1500 orders.

In some states, consumer protections are not written to be evenhanded, but to give the consumer considerable leverage.
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Old December 31, 2012, 01:42 PM   #14
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If the fact of this situation is that the chain of supply so completely buggered that obtaining the ARs to fill very recent orders is not possible, then returning the deposits for recent orders seems reasonable.
Troy says they were going to fill the orders.
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Old December 31, 2012, 04:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
That's probably going to be the situation by the time any case would be heard.

Others will have a better handle on this area of the law than I do, but consequential damages are a tricky area, and they're usually limited to 10% of the loss. So, if I paid $900 for a gun, Dick's refunded my money, and it would cost me $1300 to buy it elsewhere, I'd recover $40.

The cost of even talking the matter over with legal counsel dwarfs that. This also assumes I can prove significant hardship to the court in the first place.
I don't think the $400 loss in your example is consequential damages. The $400 is direct damages. An example of consequential damages, as I understand the concept, would be: Not only did I lose $400 because I had to pay more to buy the same gun from another source (the direct damages), I had a hunting trip planned that I had to cancel because of the difference in cost of the gun, and I lost the $500 non-refundable deposit I had put down to reserve the trip (the consequential damages).

So I should recover the full $400 in direct damages, and another $50 relating to the consequential damages of having to cancel the hunting trip.
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Old December 31, 2012, 04:27 PM   #16
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As for the breech of contract notion, maybe, maybe not. Many store order forms have the noted caveat that if the ordered item cannot be obtained that a refund will be made to the customer. If Dick's had this on their forms, then they are covered so long as they either filled the order or refunded the money. There would be no breech of contract.
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Old January 1, 2013, 05:19 PM   #17
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Double Naught: Just out of curiosity, on the caveat, does it make a difference if the store decides not to make it available?

It seems to me the store decided not to sell them, not because of a lack of availability, but because they were worried about their image. There are still plenty of rifles out there, they are just much more expensive.

Or is this the thing a judge would have to figure out? Thanks in advance for a reply.
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Old January 1, 2013, 05:25 PM   #18
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I don't believe in class action suits, or the American penchant for suing for that matter. I do believe in acting with my wallet and will avoid future purchases at Dicks.
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Old January 2, 2013, 08:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWT
I don't believe in class action suits,...
Believe in them? I've seen them! (This paraphrases an old joke about full immersion baptism)

When drawing juries in less urban areas of my state, I find there are generally several people who do not believe in the propriety of litigation as a means to a remedy.

Cynical people will say that this is a population smart enough to avoid jury service. However, my sense is that their reservations are genuine.
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Old January 2, 2013, 08:45 AM   #20
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Double Naught: Just out of curiosity, on the caveat, does it make a difference if the store decides not to make it available?
That would depend on the text of the agreement. My guess is that they have that covered to protect themselves against cost spikes or that they have the option to withdraw from the order and refund the money for any reason. In short, they don't have to fulfill and order if they refund the money.
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Old January 2, 2013, 09:26 AM   #21
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I didn't notice any such policies in their online store, DNS. Most places only seem to advise of such policies if an item is on back-order. Available stock does not seem to prompt such notices.

So I would think some might have a case.
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Old January 2, 2013, 09:44 AM   #22
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Quote:
I don't believe in class action suits, or the American penchant for suing for that matter. I do believe in acting with my wallet and will avoid future purchases at Dicks.
neither do I. of course, there are grounds for suing depending on the case but we have become such a litigious society that it bothers me so many people are only out to make a quick buck rather than take responsibility for their own actions. the woman who sued McDonald's for burning herself with a hot cup of coffee comes to mind.
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Old January 2, 2013, 10:27 AM   #23
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I also think we are overly litigious, but...

There is sometimes a legitimate reason for class action suits. Large corporations have lawyers on retainer or even as corporate employees, and they have funds for tort warfare.

A large corporation can alternately file for delay after delay, or can have its legal staff come up with a multitude of arguments and cites.

An individual or a small business, lacking these advantages, will go broke on billable hours for each delay and each counter-argument and supporting cite. This often results in individuals or small businesses not going to court, even when their case is strong or the large corporation's case is obviously flimsy.

For one example, a long-established Mom and Pop Cuban restaurant in Orlando, Restaurante Uno, changed its name to Restaurante Dos rather than fight the lawyers from Pizzeria Uno, who gave notice of intent to file for trademark infringement, when Pizzeria Uno decided to set up shop at Church Street.

Pizzeria Uno was able to win by bullying, when they should not have been able to prevail in court.

Had a bunch of restaurants, using Uno somewhere in their names, been able to band together, Pizzeria Uno might have actually had to prove a case - which I do not think they could have done.

So, the idea behind a legitimate class action suit is that it allows multiple Davids to stand against Goliath.
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Old January 2, 2013, 10:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
Tom Servo, I am not an attorney, but I would think the approach would be:

I could have bought elsewhere for $900.

Dick's only wanted $850, so I bought from them, not the other seller.

Dick's took my money; a contract was made.

Now, Dick's has refunded my money, but breached the contract; other sources now cost $1300. Dick's breach cost me $400, so I want $400 plus court costs.
It's not at all uncommon for companies to take preorders on items that they're ultimately unable or unwilling to fulfill. Even if Dicks didn't have some kind of clause in the purchase agreement clarifying their right to cancel the order (I'd be extremely shocked if they didn't), I don't see how you'd possibly have a chance of winning. Maybe if you could show that Dick's was taking preorders knowing that they would never be fulfilled... but that's really a different situation than these complaints.

Look at it from a different POV:
Say that you need a tree removed from your yard. You hire Jimbo's lawn service to do the work next week and pay $100 up front. A few days later though Jimbo decides that he actually hates working on trees, tells you that he won't do the job and gives you your money back. Now you're looking at other services and can't find anything cheaper than $200. Do you have grounds to sue Jimbo? Frankly, I'd expect that case to be laughed out of court...

Now Troy Defense... they may very well have grounds to sue Dick's. Depending of course on the terms of their manufacturing contract.
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Old January 3, 2013, 12:31 AM   #25
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Merad, for your example to match mine, other services would have to have been available when the contract was made, that would have cost a lot less than $200.
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