By BEA LEWIS
LACONIA — A city sign printing business claims in a recently filed lawsuit that it got led down the garden path when a California company sold them a Chinese-made flatbed printer that proved to be a lemon, and then reneged on a pledge to make it right.
Big Daddy’s Signs of Florida, Inc., who operates out of the O’Shea Industry Park on Lexington Drive, claims it paid $122,000 for a large commercial flatbed printer in December 2014, and that from the time it was delivered and set up, it never worked as intended or represented.
The defendants are GraphixDirect of Costa Mesa, Calif., which sells equipment to the printing industry, and Shenn Zhen Runtianzhi Digital Equipment Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen, Guandong China, who made the Flora model PP2512UV printer.
Attorney Ed Philpot of Laconia, who represents the plaintiff, alleges that the defendants represented that the printer had certain capabilities and properties that were in line with what sign company President Steve Zwicker needed for his business.
From the time the printer was installed, it was plagued by computer programming issues, general function ability issues and component failures. Despite repeated efforts to fix the machines, the defendants were never able to make it reliable or functional for any period of time, Philpot asserts.
In April 2015, the defendants acknowledged the problems, and the parties signed an agreement intended to compensate Big Daddy for the loss of use of the machine, and to put a plan in place to get the printer working.
Under the terms of the agreement, Big Daddy was to keep the existing printer and be paid $10,000. A 36-month parts and labor warranty was to go into effect, as well as a service agreement that included a 48-hour emergency on-site response directly with GraphixDirect and a Flora engineer, if deemed necessary, for any warranty work over 36 months.
The agreement also called for the plaintiff to receive 180 days of free ink, and to then be allowed to purchase it at $100 a liter, except for white at $120 liter. Caldera software and computer, plus training, was to be included free of charge.
A Flora engineer was to come to Laconia by April 30, 2015 to mitigate any and all problems with the existing Flora 2512 UV unit. Once a Flora factory engineer cleared the unit of any further problems or issues, Big Daddy’s Signs would enter a 60-day probationary period of printer usage.
If three or more service calls were required during that period, it would void the agreement, and GraphixDirect was to reimburse 100 percent of the printer price, plus all interest assessed to Big Daddy’s Signs by the leasing company.
Graphix was to pay for all packing and moving expenses to remove the printer.
The suit claims the printer still doesn’t work, and that Graphix has refused to honor its agreement.
The suit makes claims for breach of contract and breach of warranty, and asks the court to order Graphix to reimburse the plaintiff for the full price of the printer, plus all interest charged by the finance company. Philpot is additionally asking the court to order Graphix to pay for all packing and moving expenses to return the printer, and pay Big Daddy’s $10,000 consistent with the earlier agreement of the parties.
Philpot is also seeking unspecified damages incurred by his client as a result of failure of the subject printer to operate as intended and represented, and for the failure to fix the machine after numerous attempts, as well as the award of attorney’s fees and legal costs for bringing the suit.
This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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