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Minn. Stat. § 336.2-714(1) provides in part: Where the buyer has accepted goods and given notification, § 336.2-607(3), he may recover as damages for any nonconformity of tender the loss resulting in the ordinary course of events from the seller's breach as determined in any manner which is reasonable.
Plaintiff, Wendell Wenner, Jr., had defendant Gulf Oil Corporation’s herbicide sprayed on his corn crop to kill weeds. The product was applied aerially because the fields were too wet to apply the product by tractor. The product label contained no recommendations or warnings regarding aerial application. The herbicide killed the weeds without damage to the crop; however, a wheat crop planted the following year was damaged, allegedly because of the latent affects of the herbicide. The herbicide contained no warning against aerial application or against applying the product to a field previously treated with atrazine, another weed-killing compound. Consequently, plaintiff initiated the present action against defendant, seeking damages for breach of warranty. The trial court entered a judgment in favor of plaintiff. On appeal, defendant alleged that the trial court err in refusing to accept into evidence a letter written by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant before commencement of the present action. The aforementioned letter outlined the factual basis for plaintiff's claim against defendant and demanded full payment of the damages to avoid litigation. Defendant further contended that plaintiff’s expert witness was allowed to answer a hypothetical question which did not include some important facts. Moreover, defendant argued that the trial court's refusal to give a requested instruction on comparative negligence resulted in prejudicial error.
Should the judgment in favor of plaintiff be reversed based on the reasons raised by the defendant?
The appellate court affirmed the judgment in favor of the plaintiff, holding that the demand letter sent by the plaintiff’s attorney that contained an admission of possible misapplication of the herbicide was admissible because any attorney-client privilege was waived where the attorney had authority to present his client's claim; however, the trial court's failure to admit the letter was not prejudicial because the jury heard other testimony regarding the misapplication of the product. The court further held that the hypothetical question to the plaintiff's expert contained sufficient factual foundation so that there was no abuse of discretion in permitting the testimony. The court also held that under the circumstances, the trial court properly refused to give negligence, negligence per se, and warranty disclaimer instructions.