US client wins case from Belgian horse dealer concerning the horse’s character

Our client, a consumer buyer from the US, purchased a showjumper from a Belgian horse dealer. Soon after the horse arrived in the US it started to misbehave and refused to jump. Because of this our client decided to start a legal procedure in front of the Belgian Court in Leuven in order to return the horse to the seller and to have the purchase price refunded to her.

On 27 January 2016 the Belgian Court stated that it was clear that the horse refused to jump within only a couple of days after the horse was delivered to the client. As the Belgian civil code rules that when the buyer is a consumer it is (legally) assumed that – when the ‘malfunctions’ develop within 6 months from delivery – the horse already did not meet the expectations of the buyer before the purchase.

Under these circumstances it is up to the professional dealer to hand over proof that there were no problems with the horse at the moment of delivery. Because the seller didn’t had this proof the Belgian Court decided to dissolve the purchase agreement between parties and condemned the horse dealer to refund the purchase price of € 42.000,00 plus interest to our client. Furthermore, the horse dealer has also been condemned to pay damages of € 2.500,- and he has to pick up the horse in the US within 6 months. If he refuses to pick up the horse he will also be obliged to pay an additional amount of € 20,- per day of delay.

Our client was assisted by EEL and our Alliance Partner in Leuven (Belgium), Beelen Lawyers.