Jones v. Star Credit

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Jones v. Star Credit
Court New York Supreme Court
Citation 298 N.Y.S.2d 264
Date decided March 18, 1969

Facts

  • Mr. Jones & his wife were welfare recipients in the 1960s in the state of New York
  • "Jones" = plaintiff
  • 1 day, a salesman stopped by the Jones home to sell them a freezer for $900. However, with
    • time credit charges,
    • credit life insurance,
    • credit propety insurance, &
    • sales tax, the pruchase price jumped up to $1,235.
  • Star Credit Corporation = "Star" = defendant = creditor for the fridge


Procedural History

Jones sued Star to rescind the contract.

The trial court found that the freezer had a maximum retail value of $300. It held that the contract was Unconscionable under the New York Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Thus, Star lost.

Issues

Can an excessive sale price in a contract be unconscionable such that the court should refuse to enforce it?

Holding

Yes. An excessive price can render a sale contract unconscionable as a matter of law.

Judgment

Affirmed.

Reasons

Judge Wachtler: The doctrine of caveat emptor allows exploitative practices, some of which shock the conscience.

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