3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Valley sports memorabilia store demands return of autographed item

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

"These are some of my favorites, Jake Plummer was one of my favorite quarterbacks here besides Kurt Warner."

Not only does Lance Tucker have quite an NFL collection but he says the Arizona Cardinals are his favorite team. "I've been a fan since they came to Arizona."

And last month, when Tucker came across a memorabilia store called Sports Expressions in the San Tan Village Mall he found what he's always wanted.

"They had the holy grail of what I want which was an autographed framed Larry Fitzgerald jersey."

 Tucker says when he got to the check-out counter, a second Cardinals item caught his eye.

"Out of the corner of my eye I noticed this Pat Tillman picture, I thought that was really nice and I asked the woman how much was it, and she said it was $160 so I said wrap it up I'll take that too."

Tucker paid more than $800 and took the Pat Tillman item with him. However, he left the Larry Fitzgerald Jersey at the store until they could find a Certificate of Authenticity for it.

"They said hey if you just leave it here we'll get you the certificate we'll make sure everything's squared away come get it next week."

However after getting home Lance says the owner of Sports Expressions called him and ask him to return the Pat Tillman purchase back to the store, claiming his employee accidentally charged him only a $160 when the item is actually valued at nearly $1,000 however Tucker refused.

"I paid what the woman asked me to pay for it."

As a result, the store owner says he'll not only keep the money Lance paid for the Fitzgerald Jersey, but he'll also keep the jersey. The owner of Sports Expressions says it's fair because his employee accidentally charged Lance the wrong price and that Lance should return it.

In an email to 3 On Your Side, the owner says, "To keep something mistakenly given to you that you did not order or pay for is Unjust Enrichment."

That's a legal term, so we turned to Monica Lindstrom a Valley attorney for an explanation.

"Unjust enrichment is a concept in the law where one person is "enriched" unjustly, in other words that person gets something and it's not fair to somebody else."

Lindstrom doesn't represent Lance or the store, but she's an experienced arbitrator who says the two men need to come to some kind of an agreement.

"If they can't resolve it, sometimes the only thing left to do is to go to court. If you feel very strongly about your position and you can't negotiate then court might be the only solution."

The letter sent to 3 On Your Side from Sports Expressions can be read below:

As we previously discussed last Friday, on November 25, 2016, Mr. Tucker purchased two framed sports items from our company. The first item was a Pat Tillman piece with an unauthentic engraved signature and the second was a Larry Fitzgerald autographed jersey.
At the time of the purchase, instead of the unauthentic engraved signature Pat Tillman piece that Mr. Tucker ordered and paid for, Mr. Tucker was mistakenly given an authentic autographed Pat Tillman piece that I do not even own but was framing for someone else. Mr. Tucker left with the authentic autographed Pat Tillman piece and said that he would return to pick up the Larry Fitzgerald autographed jersey in a few days.

Immediately upon discovering the error we called Mr. Tucker several times to make him aware of the error. Each time the calls were not answered so we left messages. In each message we explained the error and that we needed to exchange the item he was incorrectly given for the item he ordered and paid for. Our calls were not returned.

On November 28th, Mr. Tucker returned to our store to collect the autographed Larry Fitzgerald jersey. When we asked him if he brought the authentic autographed Pat Tillman piece that was mistakenly given to him instead of the one he had ordered and paid for, he acknowledged that it was not what he had ordered or paid for and that he was not going to return it. We reminded him that the piece he had been given was not even ours and that legally he needed to return it. We explained to Mr. Tucker that when he returned the Pat Tillman item that he had mistakenly been given to him, he would be given the Pat Tillman piece that he ordered and purchased and the Larry Fitzgerald autographed jersey. We also told him that if he no longer wanted either of the items that he ordered, upon return of the Pat Tillman piece that he had mistakenly been given, he could receive a full refund.

Mr. Tucker has refused either suggestion. While he is willing to concede that he was given an item that he neither ordered nor paid for, he says that he feels that it was our mistake and thus he refuses to return the item.
This is a classic case of unjust enrichment, a basic legal concept recognized in Arizona. Mr. Tucker has no legal right to keep an authentic autographed Pat Tillman mistakenly given to him when that is not what he ordered or paid for. To keep something mistakenly given to you that you did not order or pay for is an unjust enrichment in the amount that exceeds the value of the unauthentic engraved Pat Tillman that he ordered and paid for. Because we have offered to make him whole by providing him with the
items that he ordered and paid for, Mr. Tucker is legally required to return the item that he did not order or pay for.

This situation is no different than if someone goes to the ATM and is inadvertently given extra money, or a jeweler mistakenly hands a customer someone else’s diamond ring instead of the ring with the cubic zirconium that was ordered and paid for one. Neither the ATM customer nor the jewelry store customer is entitled to benefit from the honest mistakes of others. Several months ago the legal principle of unjust enrichment was clearly demonstrated when the woman who was notified she had just won over $42 million dollars from a slot machine did not receive the money because it was a mistake. Although Mr. Tucker has no legal basis to keep the authentic autographed Pat Tillman he refuses to return, to break our current stalemate, when Mr. Tucker returns the Pat Tillman piece he was mistakenly given, I will give him the Pat Tillman piece he ordered and paid for, the Larry Fitzgerald Jersey and refund $100 on his credit card for any inconvenience our mistake may have caused.


Sports Expressions"

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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