Claimant Alleged GSA Sold the Company a Lemon. Why Wasn’t the Claimant Entitled to a Price Reduction?

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The claimant alleged it had purchased a defective loader from GSA and thus a discounted price was warranted. The CBCA found no valid claim. The claimant had not submitted a claim during the time frame specified by the purchase contract. Moreover, even if the claim was timely, the claimant could have identified the alleged deficits if it inspected the loader before buying it.

Badland Truck Sales, Inc. v. General Services Administration, CBCA 7281

Background

GSA offered a loader for sale on its auction website. The website stated that the sale was subject to GSA’s terms and conditions. The terms and conditions sated  that the condition of the loader was not warranted, and that bidders should ascertain the condition through an inspection. Additionally, the terms stated that if a bidder believed that GSA had mis-described the equipment, they had to submit a claim to the contract within 15 days.

Badland Truck Sales bid on the loader for $50,010. GSA accepted the bid. Badland paid for the loader but then submitted a claim to GSA for $10,000 alleging the loader was defective—specifically, that the bucket didn’t close properly and none of the gauges worked. GSA denied the claim. Badland appealed to the CBCA.

Legal Analysis

Claim Was Untimely

The board noted that failure to submit a claim within the requisite time frame will defeat any claim a purchaser may have under a warranty clause. Here, the terms and conditions required Badland to submit a claim in 15 days. Badland didn’t submit its claim for over a month. Badland claimed it was prevented from filing a timely claim due to the COVID-190 pandemic. The board found no merit to that argument.

GSA Had Not Misdescribed the Loader

Even if Badland had submitted a timely claim, the board was not inclined to grant it. Badland had not inspected the loader before buying it. The problems it now complained of could have been discovered during an inspection. Moreover, GSA had not misdescribed the loader. The description of the loader was accurate. Badland had purchased exactly what GSA had described.

Badland is represented by its President, Jeremy Alley. The government is represented by Neeraj Kumar and Keaton Norquist of the General Services Administration.

CBCA-Badland Truck Sales