A man who was sued over the Craigslist sale of his $40 printer has escaped a $30,000 judgement against him but has spent $12,000 over more than six years defending himself. And it ain't over yet.
Doug Costello, 66, sold the used printer on Craiglist in 2009 to Gersh Zavodnik, a 54-year-old native of Ukraine living in Indianapolis, IndyStar
Zavodnik claimed the printer didn't work and sued. Costello won the original lawsuit when a small claims court ruled against Zavodnik, who had thrown away the device.
"I figured that's it," Costello told the IndyStar. "But no, no, no. Now I'm in another twilight zone."
Zavodnik, whom the Indiana Supreme Court called a "prolific, abusive litigant," sent Costello a series of documents asking him to admit that he was liable for amounts ranging from $30,000 to $600,000, the IndyStar said.
Costello, who said he never received the requests, was found liable by default because he didn't respond. After years and several judges, Zavodnik was awarded a judgment of $30,044.07. But on appeal, a judge reversed the decision, saying the damages "had no basis in reality."
Costello has spent at least $12,000 defending himself, but it isn't over yet. The appeals court ordered a hearing to determine whether the case should be dismissed "based on Zavodnik's repeated, flagrant, and continuing failure to comply with Indiana's rules of procedure," the newspaper reported.
Zavodnik, who has represented himself in dozens of lawsuits against individuals in businesses, told the New York Daily News
that the legal system offers "no safeguards."
"You go to the court of appeals, they collude and conspire. You go to superior court, they collude and conspire. It’s mafioso!" Zavodnik said. "It’s about much more than the printer. It’s about a conspiracy of the court."
Twitter users were incredulous.
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