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Construction Resources Group, LLC v. Element Financial Corp.

United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
2017 WL 2266894 (2017)


Facts

Construction Resources Group, LLC (CRG) and its principals (plaintiffs) needed a loader for an excavation project. Dealer H&E Equipment Services recommended using Element Financial Corp. (Element) (defendant) to finance the transaction. Element purchased the loader and leased it to CRG. The lease stated that it was a finance lease as defined under Article 2A of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and waived any warranty remedies against Element. The lease also contained a “hell-or-high-water” provision obligating CRG to pay rent even if the loader failed. However, Element did not give the lease to CRG to sign until three weeks after H&E delivered the loader. Over the next 11 months, the loader failed at least 19 times. CRG stopped paying the lease payments, and Element repossessed the loader. CRG sued Element for breach of warranty. Element counterclaimed for almost $100,000 of rent owed. Element requested summary judgment awarding it that amount and dismissing CRG’s warranty claims, arguing CRG could not recover for breach of warranty against Element. CRG countered that the agreement did not qualify as finance lease under Oklahoma law, that the warranty waiver and hell-or-high-water clause were unconscionable and unenforceable, or that CRG could rescind the lease agreement and not pay the rent.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Miles-LaGrange, J.)

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