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Hebron v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc.

60 F.3d 1095 (1995)

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Hebron v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

60 F.3d 1095 (1995)

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Facts

While Rachel Hebron (Hebron) (plaintiff) was driving her Isuzu Trooper on an interstate highway, another driver cut in front of her. This caused Hebron to swerve and roll over. Hebron was permanently injured in the accident. More than two years later, Hebron sued American Isuzu Motors, Inc. (Isuzu) (defendant) for $750,000 in damages. Hebron alleged that Isuzu had breached the implied warranty of merchantability by selling her a defective truck. Because Hebron had disposed of her truck, Isuzu did not have an opportunity to inspect the allegedly defective vehicle. However, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) says that buyers can only sue a seller for an alleged breach of contract if the buyer notified the seller of the alleged breach within a reasonable time after discovering the breach. Isuzu filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Hebron had failed to comply with the UCC’s requirement to give Isuzu reasonable notice of its alleged breach of the implied warranty of merchantability. The trial court granted Isuzu’s motion, holding that Hebron’s two-year delay in filing was unreasonable as a matter of law. Hebron appealed, arguing that the UCC’s notice requirement only applied to sales to merchants, and did not apply to sales to retail consumers.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Niemeyer, J.)

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