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ARTICLE ID 161366

$________ Conversion - Civil theft of gold watch by consignment shop - Alleged breach of contract - Unjust enrichment - Damages tripled to $________.

Palm Beach County, FL

The plaintiff brought this action against the defendant, a Butlertown consignment shop, under claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion and civil theft. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant sold or kept a gold watch which the plaintiff had entrusted to the defendant for consignment sale. The defendant argued that the watch was sent to Switzerland for repair and the Swiss company had failed to return it.

The plaintiff contended that a bailment was created when he left his Corum Admirals Cup Tides 44 gold watch in the care of the defendant for consignment sale at a minimum price of $________. The plaintiff’s jewelry expert testified that the watch was worth $________ to $________ new and $________ to $________ in its used condition, at the time it was left in the defendant’s possession.

The plaintiff contended that the watch disappeared and that the defendant was unable to produce it for some two years. The plaintiff also alleged that evidence showed that the Corum in Switzerland never received the watch as claimed by the defendant. Even if Corum had possession of the watch, it would only take two weeks to replace the crystal and return the watch to the United States, according to the plaintiff.

The defendant contended that the watch had been sent to Corum headquarters in Switzerland for replacement of a scratched crystal. The defense argued that the Swiss company failed to return the watch. However, the defense was unable to produce documentation showing that the watch had been sent to Switzerland. The defendant also disputed the value placed upon the watch by the plaintiff’s expert.

A motion for continuance of the trial made by the defendant was denied. The principal of the defendant consignment shop did not appear at trial and was reportedly in Switzerland attempting to retrieve the plaintiff’s watch.

The jury found for the defendant on the counts of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and conversion. It found for the plaintiff on the civil theft count and awarded the plaintiff $________ in damages. The award was tripled to $________ under the civil theft statute. Attorney fees of approximately $________ were also added to the award.

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