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Williams v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
350 F.2d 445 (1965)



Walker-Thomas Furniture Co. (Walker) (plaintiff) owned and operated a retail furniture store. It routinely leased items to customers under lease agreements which provided that customers would make a series of installment payments. Walker would retain title to the items until all payments were made, at which time title would pass to the customer. All Walker’s lease agreements also contained a unique provision that every time a new item was leased by a customer, a balance would become due on all items previously leased by that customer until the entire balance for all items was liquidated. The effect of this provision was that if a customer defaulted on his most recent purchase, Walker could attempt to repossess all previous purchases by that customer. Williams (defendant) purchased a stereo from Walker and defaulted shortly thereafter. Walker brought suit to recover on the stereo as well as all other items previously purchased by Williams. The trial court granted judgment for Walker, and the appellate court affirmed. Williams and other defendants appealed to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Skelly Wright, C.J.)

Dissent (Danaher, C.J.)

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