Plaintiff purchased a recreational fishing boat and subsequently discovered stress cracks in the hull. The boat was shipped to the manufacturer for repairs and then returned to plaintiff. After two fishing trips, the cracks reappeared. The manufacturer agreed that a new hull was in order. After the new hull developed stress cracks and a failed attempt to repair them by the manufacturer, plaintiff filed suit against the manufacturer alleging various claims and among them a claim in redhibition where he sought damages for mental anguish.
The trial court rendered judgment in plaintiff’s favor on the redhibition claim, but did not award damages for mental anguish. Plaintiff appealed.
On appeal, the Louisiana’s First Circuit noted that there is a cause of action for mental anguish damages related to losses suffered to unique items, custom-built items or items purchased for special purposes.
In the instant case, plaintiff’s boat was neither custom-built nor specifically designed. Also, plaintiff did not testify that he purchased a boat due to any unique quality or characteristic. The only reason he bought the boat was to help out a friend in need (the original boat’s seller) and for recreational fishing. Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying damages for mental anguish.
Lovell v. Blazer Boats, Inc., 2012 WL 5270111 (La. App. 1 Cir. 10/24/12).