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Rheinberg-Kellerei GmbH v. Vineyard Wine Company

North Carolina Court of Appeals
53 N.C. App. 560, 281 S.E.2d 425 (1981)


Rheinberg-Kellerei GmbH (Rheinberg) (plaintiff), a West German corporation, entered into a contract to sell wine to Vineyard Wine Company (Vineyard) (defendant), a North Carolina corporation. Vineyard did not request that the wine be delivered to any specific location and was unaware of the details of the shipment. Rheinberg delivered the wine to a shipping line without notifying Vineyard, and the wine was placed on a ship for transit from the Netherlands to North Carolina. The ship was lost at sea, along with all hands and cargo. Rheinberg sent Vineyard’s bank an invoice for the wine on December 27, 1978. Vineyard did not learn that the shipment had been lost until January 1979. Upon learning that the shipment was lost, Vineyard refused to pay for the shipment, and Rheinberg sued to recover the cost of the shipment. The trial court found that Rheinberg had failed to comply with Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) § 2-504 by failing to promptly notify Vineyard of the shipment and that the risk of loss of the wine therefore did not pass from Rheinberg to Vineyard upon delivery of the wine to the ship carrier under UCC § 2-509. The trial court dismissed Rheinberg’s action. Both parties appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wells, J.)

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