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Kolarik v. Cory International Corp.

Supreme Court of Iowa
721 N.W.2d 159 (2006)


Facts

Kolarik (plaintiff) bought a jar of “minced pimento stuffed” olives. Kolarik bit down on an olive, struck a pit, and broke a tooth. Kolarik sued the wholesalers and importers of the olives (defendants), alleging breach of express warranty, strict liability in tort, breach of the implied warranty of merchantability, and negligence. Kolarik claimed that the phrase “minced pimento stuffed” on the label constituted an express warranty that the olives contained no pits. At trial, it was established that the pits were removed by machine in Spain, but because olives varied in size, there was a possibility that some pits or portions of pits remained in the product. After the removal process, the defendants imported and repackaged the olives for sale. The defendants argued that the bulk nature of the pitting process rendered it impractical to inspect each olive. Additionally, federal regulations permitted 1.3 pits or pit fragments per 100 olives. The trial court granted the defendants summary judgment on all claims. Kolarik appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Carter, J.)

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