Al and Deb Poller of New Jersey sent their 1931 Chevy to Okoboji Classic Cars (OCC) in 2013 for restoration after Deb saw the company’s work in a visit to family.
The final bill came to more than $112,367. The Pollers had already paid $45,000 and sued, saying they had a verbal agreement that amount would be the limit.
The district court ruled OCC was due the remaining $67,000. The Iowa Supreme Court reversed that ruling, saying OCC had violated the law requiring an estimate of the work and has no basis to keep the car or be paid the balance.
The ruling says under Iowa law when repair authorizations are made in writing, OCC may decline to provide an estimate, but it must specifically provide in writing an opportunity for the customer to set a limit on expenditures that may be incurred without prior approval.
The Supreme Court also ruled the Pollers suffered no damages from the dispute and are not due attorney fees.
Here’s the ruling: Classic Car Ruling PDF