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Central Washington Refrigeration, Inc. v. Barbee

Supreme Court of Washington
946 P.2d 760 (1997)


Facts

Central Washington Refrigeration, Inc. (Central) (plaintiff), agreed to install cold-storage rooms for a Yakima orchard. Central entered into a contract with McCormack Engineering (McCormack) (defendant) to purchase specially manufactured refrigeration coils for use in the cold-storage rooms. McCormack delivered the coils to Central, and Central installed the coils at the orchard. The orchard experienced problems with the cold-storage rooms. The orchard defaulted on payments for the installation, and Central sued the orchard for payment. The orchard counterclaimed for damages against Central. More than four and a half years after McCormack delivered the coils to Central, Central paid a settlement to the orchard. At the same time, Central brought a third-party complaint against McCormack for contribution or indemnity for the damages owed to the orchard, alleging that defects in the coils had caused the orchard’s damages. The trial court held, and the court of appeals affirmed, that Central’s claim was barred by the four-year statute of limitations under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), as the claim was brought more than four years after the delivery of the coils. Central appealed.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Sanders, J.)

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Dissent (Guy, J.)

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