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AMI 1011 Products Liability—Issues—Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for Particular Purpose

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 1011
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 10. Products Liability
AMI 1011 Products Liability—Issues—Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for Particular Purpose
(Plaintiff) claims damages from (defendant) on the ground that the (product)[was][were] not fit for the particular purpose for which [it was][they were] intended.
In order to recover (plaintiff) has the burden of proving seven essential propositions:
One, that [he][she] has sustained damages.
Second, that at the time of contracting (defendant) had reason to know the particular purpose for which the (product)[was][were] required.
Third, that (defendant) had reason to know that the buyer was relying on (defendant)'s skill or judgment to select or furnish a suitable (product).
Fourth, that the (product)[was][were] not fit for the particular purpose for which [it was][they were] required.
Fifth, that this unfitness of the (product) was a proximate cause of (plaintiff)'s damages;
Sixth, that (plaintiff) was a person whom (defendant) would reasonably have expected to [use][consume][or][be affected by] the (product); and
[Seventh, that (plaintiff) notified (defendant) within a reasonable time after (plaintiff) discovered or should have discovered that the (product)[was][were] not fit for the particular purpose for which [it][they][was][were] required.]
[If you find from the evidence in this case that each of these propositions has been proved, then your verdict should be for (plaintiff) (against the party you find to have breached this duty); but if, on the other hand, you find from the evidence that any of these propositions has not been proved, then your verdict should be for (defendant)].
NOTE ON USE
If there is no issue of fact whether notice of the breach was given to the defendant, do not use the bracketed seventh element. If there is an issue concerning the adequacy of the notice, an additional instruction may be appropriate.
Do not use the final bracketed paragraph of this Instruction if the case is submitted on interrogatories.
COMMENT
This instruction is based on Ark. Code Ann. § 4-2-315. See also E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. v. Dillaha, 280 Ark. 477, 659 S.W.2d 756 (Ark. 1983) (reciting elements).
For discussion of the notice issue, see the Comment to AMI 1010.
It is not necessary to prove that the supplier had actual knowledge of the particular purpose for which the product was intended. It is sufficient that the supplier has reason to realize the particular purpose the buyer has in mind and permits the buyer to make the purchase on the assumption that the goods are suitable to his or her needs. Berkeley Pump Co. v. Reed–Joseph Land Co., 279 Ark. 384, 653 S.W.2d 128 (1983).
There is a conflict between several Arkansas cases and the language of Ark. Code Ann. § 4-2-315 regarding the third element. The court in E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. v. Dillaha, supra, stated the third element as requiring that “the defendant knew the buyer was relying on the defendant's skill or judgment to select or furnish the product.” 280 Ark. at 480, 659 S.W.2d at 757 (emphasis added). This formulation is repeated in other Arkansas cases, e.g., Great Dane Trailer Sales, Inc. v. Malvern Pulpwood, Inc., 301 Ark. 436, 785 S.W.2d 13 (1990); Woods v. Hopmann Machinery, Inc., 301 Ark. 134, 782 S.W.2d 363 (1990). The statute, however, says, in pertinent part, “has reason to know any particular purpose for which the goods are required and that the buyer is relying on the seller's skill or judgment ….” (emphasis added). Similarly, the court in Berkeley Pump Co. v. Reed-Joseph Land Co. said that “it is enough that the seller has reason to realize the purpose intended or that the reliance exists.” 653 S.W.2d at 133–34 (emphasis added). See also Arkansas Carpenters' Health & Welfare Fund v. Philip Morris, Inc., 75 F. Supp.2d 936, 946 (E.D. Ark. 1999) (quoting statute). Because the precise distinction between “knew” and “had reason to know” was not at issue in E.I. DuPont de Nemours, Great Dane Trailer Sales, Inc., or Woods, the Committee has opted to follow the language of the statute in the instruction.
End of Document