Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
The notice requirement set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. (U.C.C.) § 2-607(3)(a) (Reissue 2001) serves three purposes. It provides the seller with an opportunity to correct any defect, to prepare for negotiation and litigation, and to protect itself against stale claims asserted after it is too late for the seller to investigate them. Whether the notice given is satisfactory and whether it is given within a reasonable time are generally questions of fact to be measured by all the circumstances of the case.
James G. Fitl purchased a baseball card from Mark Strek, doing business as Star Cards of San Francisco. When Fitl discovered that the baseball card had been altered and was of no value, he sued Strek for what he argued was the current fair market value of an unaltered version of the same card. Following a bench trial, judgment was entered against Strek in the amount of $ 17,750 plus costs. Strek appealed.
Did the trial court err in determining that notification of the defective condition of the baseball card two years after the date of purchase was timely under Neb. Rev. Stat. (U.C.C.) § 2-607(3)(a) (Reissue 2001)?
The appellate court found that once Fitl learned that the baseball card had been altered, he gave notice to Strek; Fitl was not required to conduct an investigation, contrary to Strek’s assertion. Even if Fitl had learned immediately upon taking possession of the baseball card that it was not authentic and had notified Strek at that time, there was no evidence that Strek could have made any adjustment or taken any action that would have minimized his liability. In its altered condition, the baseball card was worthless. The trial court found that it was reasonable to give Strek notice of a defect two years after the purchase. This finding was not clearly erroneous. Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. (U.C.C.) § 2-607(4) (Reissue 2001), Fitl presented evidence that the baseball card was not authentic, as he had been led to believe by Strek’s representations, and Strek did not refute this evidence.