Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Wednesday, October 4, 2023 | Back issues
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‘Star Trek’ Baby Grand Boldly Goes Missing

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - A couple spent $75,500 remodeling a room in their house with a "Star Trek" theme in honor of a $33,000 Steinway baby grand piano once owned by Gene Roddenberry - only to have the piano store sell it out from under them and keep their $15,000 deposit, the homeowners say.

Keith and Amy Nelson sued Riverton Music in Salt Lake County Court.

The Nelsons claim that in 2010 Riverton Music agreed to sell them a Steinway Model S baby grand, previously owned by Gene Roddenberry - creator of the "Star Trek" franchise.

The Nelsons paid $15,000 down on the $32,900 piano, they say in the lawsuit.

Due to "extensive" home remodeling, the Nelsons say, they asked that the contract be canceled and the deposit refunded.

Riverton refused, but agreed to store the instrument, according to the complaint.

"Plaintiffs expressed and defendant agreed that defendant would store the piano until plaintiffs had specially remodeled a portion of their home as a 'Star Trek' theme to display the piano," the complaint states.

The Nelsons say that in 2011 they asked to see the piano - valued at $41,200 - to photograph it for possible sale to a collector.

Riverton Music refused the request, claiming the piano was "stored disassembled and that its assemblers were out of state," according to the complaint.

After completing the remodeling, at an estimated $75,500, the Nelsons say, they paid the balance on the piano, but were duped.

"Defendant repudiated the contract and failed to deliver the piano, and informed plaintiffs that the piano had been sold to another party," the lawsuit states.

And Riverton refused to refund their $15,000 deposit, the Nelsons say.

"Under the terms of the contract, plaintiffs promised to pay a total of $32,900 to defendant, and defendant promised to deliver the piano to plaintiffs. Plaintiffs paid $15,000 as a down payment and agreed to provide $8,000 in professional services, and the remainder through a third-party financing company. Defendant promised to deliver the piano," the complaint states.

"Plaintiffs reasonably relied on defendant's representation that it would store the piano indefinitely while plaintiffs commenced the remodeling of a portion of their home in order to house and accommodate the piano. Plaintiffs incurred incidental and consequential costs and expenses related to the remodeling, of $75,583.43 or according to proof."

The Nelsons want rescission of contract, the $75,583, and punitive damages for breach of contract.

They are represented by John Diamond, of Sandy.

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