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Seely v. White Motor Co.

Supreme Court of California

June 23, 1965

L. A. No. 27618


 [*12]  [**147]  [***19]    In October 1959 plaintiff entered into a conditional sales contract with Southern Truck Sales for the purchase of a truck manufactured by defendant, White Motor Company. Plaintiff purchased the truck for use in his business of heavy-duty hauling. Upon taking possession of the truck, plaintiff found that it bounced violently, an action known as "galloping." For 11 months after the purchase, Southern, with [****2]  guidance from White's representatives, made many unsuccessful attempts to correct the galloping. On July 22, 1960, when slowing down for a turn, plaintiff found that the brakes did not work. The truck overturned, and plaintiff, who was not personally injured, had the damage repaired for $ 5,466.09. In September 1960, after paying $ 11,659.44 of the purchase price of $ 22,041.76, plaintiff served notice that he would make no more payments. Southern thereafter repossessed the truck and resold it for $ 13,000.

Plaintiff brought this action against Southern and White  [*13]  seeking (1) damages, related to the accident, for the repair of the  [**148]   [***20]  truck, and (2) damages, unrelated to the accident, for the money he had paid on the purchase price and for the profits lost in his business because he was unable to make normal use of the truck. During the trial plaintiff dismissed the action against Southern without prejudice. The court found that White breached its warranty to plaintiff and entered judgment for plaintiff for $ 20,899.84, consisting of $ 11,659.44 for payments on the purchase price and $ 9,240.40 for lost profits. It found that plaintiff had not proved [****3]  that the galloping caused the accident and therefore denied his claim for $ 5,466.09 for the repair of the truck. Both plaintiff and White appeal from the judgment.

 CA(1)(1)  Defendant contends that the trial court erred in awarding damages for lost profits and for the money paid on the purchase price of the truck. We do not agree with this contention. The award was proper on the basis of a breach of express warranty.

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63 Cal. 2d 9 *; 403 P.2d 145 **; 45 Cal. Rptr. 17 ***; 1965 Cal. LEXIS 155 ****; 2 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. (Callaghan) 915

DANIEL J. SEELY, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. WHITE MOTOR COMPANY, Defendant and Appellant

Subsequent History:  [****1]  The Petition of the Defendant and Appellant for a Rehearing was Denied July 21, 1965. Peters, J., was of the Opinion that the Petition Should be Granted.

Prior History: APPEALS from a judgment of the Superior Court of Kern County. William L. Bradshaw, Judge.

Action by retailer's customer against manufacturer for breach of express and implied warranties in the sale of a truck, for breach of contract and for property damages.

Disposition: Affirmed. Judgment for plaintiff affirmed.


manufacturer, warranty, truck, damages, disclaimer, products, strict liability, consumer, buyer, sales, doctrine of strict liability, implied warranty, economic loss, privity, replacement, personal injury, express warranty, physical injury, losses, cases, lost profits, promise, notice, ordinary consumer, trial court, bargain, parties, seller, buys, strict liability theory

Antitrust & Trade Law, Consumer Protection, Vehicle Warranties, Express Warranties, Commercial Law (UCC), Contract Provisions, Warranties, Exclusions & Modifications, Business & Corporate Compliance, Contracts Law, Contract Conditions & Provisions, Contract Terms, General Overview, Types of Commercial Transactions, Sales of Goods, Contracts Law, Torts, Products Liability, Theories of Liability, Breach of Warranty, Breach, Breach of Contract Actions, Types of Contracts, Measurement of Damages, Foreseeable Damages, Remedies, Damages, Sales (Article 2), Subject Matter, Strict Liability, Strict Liability, Negligence