Vern Westby inherited a “ticket” from Anna Sjoblom, a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, which had been pinned to the inside of her coat. He also inherited an album of postcards, some of which related to the Titanic. The ticket was a one-of-a-kind item in good condition. Westby needed cash and went to the biggest antique dealer
in Tacoma, operated by Alan Gorsuch and his family, doing business as Sanford and Sons, and asked about the value of these items. Westby testified that after Alan Gorsuch examined the ticket, he said, “It’s not worth nothing.” Westby then inquired about the value of the postcard album, and Gorsuch advised him to come back later. On Westby’s return, Gorsuch told Westby, “It ain’t worth nothing.” Gorsuch added that he “couldn’t fetch $500 for the ticket.” Since he needed money, Westby asked if Gorsuch would give him $1,000 for both the ticket and the album, and Gorsuch did so. Six months later, Gorsuch sold the ticket at a nationally advertised auction for $110,000 and sold most of the postcards for $1,200. Westby sued Gorsuch for fraud. Testimony showed that Gorsuch was a major buyer in antiques and collectibles in the Puget Sound area and that he would have had an understanding of the value of the ticket. Gorsuch contends that all elements of fraud are not present since there was no evidence that Gorsuch intended that Westby rely on the alleged representations, nor did Westby rely on such. Rather, Gorsuch asserts, it was an arm’s-length transaction and Westby had access to the same information as Gorsuch. Decide. [Westby v Gorsuch, 112 Wash App 558 (2002)]
A dealer in the securities market is an individual or firm who stands ready and willing to buy a security for its own account (at its bid price) or sell from its own account (at its ask price). A dealer seeks to profit from the spread between the...