Holmes v. David H. Bricker, Inc.

70 Cal. 2d 786, 76 Cal. Rptr. 431, 452 P.2d 647 (1969)

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Holmes v. David H. Bricker, Inc.

California Supreme Court
70 Cal. 2d 786, 76 Cal. Rptr. 431, 452 P.2d 647 (1969)

Facts

Mr. and Mrs. Holmes (the Holmeses) (plaintiffs) purchased a used automobile from David H. Bricker, Inc. (Bricker) (defendant) with an express warranty. During the warranty period, while Mr. Holmes was driving and Mrs. Holmes was a passenger, the automobile crashed into a fixed object, resulting in personal injuries to the Holmeses and damage to the automobile. The Holmeses sued Bricker in superior court on numerous theories, including breach of warranty, and alleged the accident was caused by defective brakes and sought to recover for their personal injuries. While that action was pending, the Holmeses filed a second action against Bricker in municipal court and alleged the same breach-of-warranty theory and sought recovery for property damage to their automobile that was sustained in the accident that was the subject of their superior court action. The municipal court dismissed the Holmeses’ property-damage claim because they could and should have alleged the claim in their superior court action. The Holmeses appealed and argued that the municipal court’s order was contrary to long-standing rule that conduct that simultaneously causes harm to both the person and property of one individual gives rise to two separate and distinct causes of action: one for violating the right to be free from legally impermissible interference with the integrity of the person and one for violating the right to quiet enjoyment of property.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Traynor, C.J.)

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