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Brandt v. Bos. Sci. Corp. - 204 Ill. 2d 640, 275 Ill. Dec. 65, 792 N.E.2d 296 (2003)

Rule:

Article 2 of the Illinois Uniform Commercial Code, 810 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/1-101 et seq. (2000), imposes the implied warranty of merchantability. 810 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/2-314 (2000). To succeed on a claim of breach of implied warranty of merchantability, a plaintiff must allege and prove: (1) a sale of goods (2) by a merchant of those goods, and (3) the goods were not of merchantable quality. 810 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/2-314(1) (2000). Unless excluded or modified, this warranty is implied in every sale under these conditions. 810 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/2-314(1) (2000).

Facts:

Plaintiff Brenda Brandt suffered severe complications following the surgical implantation of a medical device that was later recalled by the manufacturer for being substandard. Brandt filed an amended complaint that included a breach of implied warranty of merchantability claim under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) against her treating hospital, defendant Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center ("Center"). On the Center's motion, the circuit court dismissed the claim; the appellate court affirmed. Brandt appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in finding that her transaction with the Center was for primary services.

Issue:

Did the trial court err in finding that Brandt's transaction with the Center was for primary services?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The state supreme court affirmed the trial court's decision. The applied the predominant purpose test and found that a majority of the charges, 51.4 percent, included in the Brandt's bill from the Center were for services rather than goods. In addition, the court noted that the Center provided services before, during, and after the surgery to facilitate the implantation and that said services were the primary purpose of the transaction between the Center and Brandt; the purchase of the device was incidental to the treatment. Thus, the court held that the Center's provision of the defective surgical device was primarily a transaction for services rather than goods so that no implied warranty of merchantability claim was available.

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