Butt-shaped dye stains on new chairs lead to failed claim against BC furniture store | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Butt-shaped dye stains on new chairs lead to failed claim against BC furniture store

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Fabric stains left behind by someone’s behind led to an unsuccessful lawsuit against a BC furniture store in small claims court. 

Sepehr Sheikholeslami took Moe’s Home Coquitlam (MHC) to the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal on April 16, claiming brand new white chairs he purchased were “defective” after three of six were left with a defined imprint of a person’s behind after only a few months of ownership.

He sought a full refund of $3,700, or partial refund to personally reupholster the chairs.

Tribunal Member Alison Wake, however, dismissed the claim, ruling Sheikholeslami did not prove MHC broke its warranty or obligations under the Sale of Goods Act (SGA).

“MHC made no express warranties about the chairs being stain-resistant,” Wake said. “I find the discolouration is a cosmetic issue only, and the chairs are still of merchantable quality and reasonably durable for their intended purpose of being sat on.”

The chairs were purchased on March 13, 2022 for around $600 each, and delivered to Aug. 26, 2022. Within two days, Sheikholeslami had emailed the store about stain problems.

Four of the chairs had fabric stains, and Sheikholeslami had only managed to clean one.

An MHC representative said the fabric stains likely occurred because it was from the end of the roll. The retailer agreed to replace three of the chairs, and assured  Sheikholeslam it would not happen again.

Replacement chairs arrived on Oct. 14, 2022, but just over two months later, Sheikholeslami emailed MHC again complaining another chair had become stained, and he was unable to clean it.

He requested MHC fix the issue, or that he could return the chairs, but the store declined.

Sheikholeslami then contacted MHC’s head office, who offered to order a replacement chair for him, but he refused citing concerns that it would become stained as well.

Within one month, two more chairs had stains. 

Photographs of the chairs submitted to court show discolouration on the seat of the chair, which MHC argued was the clear result of a dye transfer, unlike the first batch of stained chairs.

Sheikholeslami did not dispute this, but countered that chairs should not stain this easily.

He contended MHC breached its warranty as the chairs were not of merchantable quality, reasonably fit for the purpose for which they were intended, or durable for a reasonable period of time, as required by the SGA.

MHC pointed out that while the warranty covers defects in materials and construction for one year from the delivery date, it does not cover deterioration from wear and tear, including clothing dye transfer.

Sheikholeslami argued that other white furniture in his house does not stain or discolour.

A report from a long-time buyer of MHC furniture was provided by the defendant, arguing dye transfers often occur to light-coloured fabrics, and are not a manufacturing defect.

Because Sheikholeslami did not provide expert evidence proving otherwise, Wake ruled the defective claim could not be substantiated under the warranty terms.

Sheikholeslami’s claim that MHC broke SGA regulations were also not accepted by Wake.

The plaintiff provided screenshots from MHC’s website, which described the chairs as having “easy-to-clean fabric.”

Despite Sheikholeslami’s statement that he attempted to clean the chairs numerous times, no evidence was provided on what his effort entailed, and emails show that he refused MHC’s offer to provide a cleaning solution.

Wake said there is no evidence proving the chairs are not easy to clean, nor evidence that Sheikholeslami requested stain-resistant chairs when making the purchase.

Although the chairs were fairly expensive, and should be expected to be durable and of a high quality, Wake said she still could not rule them to be defective based on cosmetic appearance alone.

Sheikholeslami was ordered to reimburse MHA its court fees.

— This story was originally published by Tri-Cities Dispatch

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