…can be a good defence. That’s what two individuals learned when they received a claim from a lessor against a vehicle that had been leased and returned, but at an estimated value substantially less than that set out by contract. Lessors sought to force the lessees to pay the entire depreciated value, as compared to an arbitrary and excessive residual value guarantee in the standard form contract.
A large corporate lessor has time and money on their side, but in this case the ‘little guys’ retained Magrath O’Connor LLP. On behalf of defendants, we raised questions in terms of the limitation period, the forum, and the applicability of certain consumer protection legislation in favour of the lessees, in addition to other defences on the merits. Faced with a pending preliminary motion to strike or stay the claim on these bases, the lessors decided to abandon their claim entirely.
More than 95% of cases settle; while a contested trial makes for good television, early and favourable settlements make for the best client outcomes.