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Hays Merchandise, Inc. v. Dewey

Washington Supreme Court
474 P.2d 270 (1970)


Facts

Dale Dewey (defendant) decided to sell toys during Christmastime one year. Dewey placed a large order for toys, primarily stuffed animals, with Hays Merchandise, Inc. (Hays) (plaintiff). The toys were supposed to be sent to Dewey in a number of shipments during October and November. As Dewey received the shipments, however, he noticed that half the stuffed animals he was supposed to receive were missing. Dewey called Hays about the issue numerous times, and Hays consistently told Dewey that the remaining stuffed animals would be sent. Near the end of November, Dewey told Hays that Dewey was fed up and did not want any more toys delivered. Nevertheless, Dewey received one more shipment from Hays after that conversation. Dewey kept the final shipment and some other unopened boxes for several months before eventually sending them back to Hays. Hays refused to accept the return and sent it back to Dewey. Hays then sued Dewey to recover the unpaid price of the toys Hays had delivered to Dewey under the contract. The trial court ruled for Hays, finding that shipping less than half the stuffed animals was not a material breach of the contract. Dewey appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Finley, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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