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Cirillo v. Slomin’s Inc.

Supreme Court of New York, Nassau County
768 N.Y.S.2d 759 (2003)


Facts

The Cirillos (plaintiffs) spoke to Howard Goldberg, a representative for Slomin’s Inc. (defendant), about buying an alarm system from Slomin’s. Among other things, Goldberg told the Cirillos that the alarm system would send a signal to a central station using telephone lines. Goldberg also told the Cirillos that if their telephone line were cut, the alarm would automatically send a signal to the central station and police would respond. The Cirillos agreed to buy the alarm system. The purchase contract contained a merger clause and several boilerplate disclaimers. The merger clause stated that there were “no oral … representations between the parties.” Two general disclaimers claimed that the Cirillos acknowledged that Slomin’s had not made any representations outside the contract and the Cirillos were not relying on any prior representations. The contract also contained a specific disclaimer that: “Slomin’s makes no representation or warranty that the alarm system . . . may not be circumvented, compromised or defeated.” After the system was installed, a burglar cut the telephone lines to the Cirillos’ home and burglarized it. Either the central station did not receive an automatic signal, or it was ignored. As a result, the burglary was not discovered until the Cirillos came home. The Cirillos sued Slomin’s for fraud, negligence, and breach of warranty. Slomin’s did not dispute that Goldberg made the precontractual statement. However, Slomin’s argued that the contract prevented the Cirillos’ claims because it disclaimed any warranty that the system could not be circumvented.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Winslow, J.)

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