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Contracts Keyed to Templin
Halbman v. Lemke
Citation:99 Wis. 2d 241 (1980)
James Halbman, Jr. (plaintiff), a minor, entered into an agreement with his employer, Michael Lemke (defendant), to buy a car for $1,250. The plaintiff paid $1,000 in cash, and the parties agreed that he would pay $25 per week until the remainder was paid. Once the car was paid for in full, the defendant would transfer title. About five weeks after this agreement, a connecting rod on the car’s engine broke. The plaintiff had the car repaired at $637.40, but refused to pay the bill, arguing that the defendant should pay it. The defendant transferred titled to the plaintiff before the full purchase price of the car was paid, in an effort to avoid paying the bill. The plaintiff then returned title to the defendant, disaffirming the purchase and asking for his money back. The defendant refused. The car ultimately sat in the repair shop until the the engine and transmission were taken as payment for the repairs, and the car was towed to the plaintiff’s father’s house where the car was vandalized and unsalvageable. The plaintiff sued the defendant to recover the $1,100 he had paid on the car, and the defendant counterclaimed for the $150 left on the purchase price.
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