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Grams v. Milk Products, Inc.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin
699 N.W.2d 167 (2005)


Facts

Gerald Grams and Joliene Grams (plaintiffs), who specialized in raising calves, suffered damages to their calves’ health and loss of life due to malnourishment caused by a milk replacer manufactured by Milk Products, Inc. (Milk Products) (defendant) and sold by Cargill, Inc. (Cargill) (defendant). The Grams filed suit in both tort and contract. The circuit court granted summary judgment for the defendants on the tort claims, holding that the claims were barred by the economic-loss rule. The circuit court also granted summary judgment for Milk Products on the contract claims, holding that there was no privity of contract. The only remaining claims were the contract claims against Cargill. The Grams appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the summary judgments in an unpublished opinion. The Grams argued that the economic-loss rule did not bar a product purchaser’s recovery for damage to property other than the contracted-for product itself. According to the Grams, the product contracted for in this case was the milk replacer, and the damaged properties for which the Grams hoped to recover were the calves. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin granted review on the issue of whether the Grams’ tort claims were barred by the economic-loss rule.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Prosser, J.)

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Dissent (Abrahamson, J.)

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