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Belden Inc. v. American Electronic Components, Inc.

Indiana Court of Appeals
885 N.E.2d 751 (2008)


Facts

American Electronic Components, Inc. (AEC) (plaintiff) manufactured automobile sensors. AEC purchased wire from Belden Inc. (defendant). In the 1990s, Belden assured AEC that Belden used a particular type of insulation to make the wire. Typically, AEC would send a purchase-order form with AEC’s terms and conditions on the back page. Belden would then respond with a customer-order acknowledgement. This acknowledgement form contained boilerplate language on the back that limited Belden’s liability. Belden’s customer-order acknowledgement also stated that Belden’s acceptance of the order “is expressly made conditional upon Buyer’s assent solely to the terms of [Belden’s form],” including this new term limiting Belden’s liability. In 2003, Belden sold wire to AEC that used the wrong insulation. The insulation cracked when used for sensors in thousands of cars, and AEC was responsible for the cost of the recalls and repairs. AEC sued Belden for breach of contract, and the trial court granted AEC’s motion for partial summary judgment. Belden appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Barnes, J.)

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