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Hyundai Motor North America, Inc. v. Goodin
Indiana Supreme Court
822 N.E.2d 947 (2005)
Sandra Goodin (plaintiff) purchased a car manufactured by Hyundai Motor North America, Inc. (Hyundai) (defendant) at AutoChoice Hyundai (AutoChoice). Goodin immediately experienced issues with the car and attempted to get the car fixed at AutoChoice and another Hyundai dealership. Eventually, Goodin filed a lawsuit against Hyundai in Indiana state court under the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, alleging a breach of the implied warranty of merchantability. Hyundai argued that Goodin could not sue Hyundai for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability because Goodin purchased the car through AutoChoice, so there was no vertical privity—meaning a direct link on the distribution chain—between Goodin and Hyundai. A jury returned a verdict for Goodin, finding that Hyundai breached its implied warranty of merchantability. The jury did not make any determination as to whether vertical privity existed between Goodin and Hyundai. The court of appeals reversed, holding that vertical privity was a necessary element of Goodin’s claim and that Goodin failed to prove that vertical privity existed between herself and Hyundai. Goodin appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Boehm, J.)
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