Doug Costello sold a printer on Craigslist for $40. Easy, right?
What the 66-year-old Massachusetts man didn’t know then is that he would spend the next 6 ½ years embroiled in a complicated and confusing legal dispute in Indiana over that printer, which, according to its buyer, was broken.
He would find himself liable for about $30,000 in damages. He would pay a lawyer at least $12,000 in his battle to escape the legal mess.
Only in America.
The printer’s buyer was Gersh Zavodnik, a 54-year-old Indianapolis man known to many in the legal community as a frequent lawsuit filer who also represents himself in court. The Indiana Supreme Court said the “prolific, abusive litigant” has brought dozens of lawsuits against individuals and businesses, often asking for astronomical damages. Most, according to court records, involve online sales and transactions.
It’s caveat emptor for buyer beware, but caveat venditor for seller beware.