Monday, April 03, 2017

Appraisals are opinions, not facts

Collins v. Travers Fine Jewels Inc., 2017 WL 1184305, 16-CV-03780 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2017)

Collins sued Travers for breach of contract, violations of the Uniform Commercial Code, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligence, fraud, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and false advertising.  Defendants counterclaimed, including for defamation, and the court dismissed the claims.  Travers alleged that Collins “published and distributed inaccurate, libelous and defamatory statements as to the value of the jewelry purchased by him over a period of time from Travers.”  His appraisals allegedly inaccurately described the jewelry.  But “appraisals” were statements of opinion. “Statements as to how specific jewelry pieces should be valued cannot be ‘objectively characterized as true or false’; instead, appraisals are understood in the ‘broader social context’ as subjective determinations that hinge on the individual appraiser’s ability and the methods applied to estimate the value.” 

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