AMI 2507 Issues—Breach of UCC Warranty
Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 2507
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Chapter 25. UCC Sales Contracts
AMI 2507 Issues—Breach of UCC Warranty
(Plaintiff) claims damages from (defendant) for breach of warranty and has the burden of proving each of (number) essential propositions:
First, that [he][she][it] sustained damages;
[(Second), that (plaintiff) and (defendant) entered into a contract for the sale of goods;]
[Second][Third], that there [was][were][an][express][and][or][implied] warranty[ies] from (defendant) to (plaintiff);
[(Third)(Fourth), that (plaintiff) did what the parties' contract required of [him][her][it] to claim the warranty(ies)];
[Fourth][Fifth], that the goods failed to conform to the warranty(ies); [and]
[(Fifth)(Sixth), that the failure to conform proximately caused (plaintiff)'s damages;] [and]
[(Sixth)(Seventh), that (plaintiff) gave notice of the failure of the goods to conform to the warranty to (defendant) within a reasonable time;] [and]
[(Seventh)(Eighth), that (plaintiff) was a person whom (defendant) might reasonably expect to (use)(consume)(or)(be affected by) the product.]
[If you find that (plaintiff) has proved each of these propositions, then your verdict should be for (plaintiff). If, however, (plaintiff) has failed to prove any one or more of these propositions, then your verdict should be for (defendant).]
NOTE ON USE
If there is no dispute that the parties entered into a contract for the sale of goods, do not use the bracketed second element.
If there is no dispute that the plaintiff did what the contract required of him to claim the warranty, do not use the bracketed fourth element.
If there is no issue of fact as to causation because the standard measure of damages stated in Ark. Code Ann. § 4-2-714(2) is the only element of damage, do not use the bracketed sixth element.
If there is no issue of fact as to whether notice of the breach was given to the defendant, do not use the bracketed seventh element. If there is an issue as to the adequacy of the notice, an additional instruction may be appropriate.
Use the bracketed eighth element if the plaintiff is not the purchaser of the product.
The final bracketed paragraph of the instruction should not be given if the case is submitted on interrogatories or if there is an affirmative defense such as a disclaimer of warranties.
For products liability cases, see AMI 1010 to 1013.
This instruction is based on Ark. Code Ann. §§ 4-2-313, 4-2-314, 4-2-315 and 4-2-318. See also Great Dane Trailer Sales, Inc. v. Malvern Pulpwood, Inc., 301 Ark. 436, 785 S.W.2d 13 (1990); E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Co. v. Dillaha, 280 Ark. 477, 659 S.W.2d 756 (1983); and F.L. Davis Builders Supply, Inc. v. Knapp, 42 Ark. App. 52, 59, 853 S.W.2d 288, 291 (1993), all of which reference elements of these claims.
Ark. Code Ann. § 4-2-607(3)(a) requires a buyer to give the seller notice of the breach within a reasonable time. Giving of notice is a condition precedent to recovery which must be alleged and proved. Williams v. Mozark Fire Extinguisher Co., 318 Ark. 792, 888 S.W.2d 303 (1994); L. A. Green Seed Co. of Ark. v. Williams, 246 Ark. 463, 469, 438 S.W.2d 717, 720 (1969); Industrial Electronic Supply, Inc. v. Lytle Mfg., L.L.C., 94 Ark. App. 81, 226 S.W.3d 1 (2006); Adams v. Wacaster Oil Co., Inc., 81 Ark. App. 150, 98 S.W.3d 832 (2003). Where some notice is given but there is an issue regarding the sufficiency or timeliness of the notice, this is ordinarily a question of fact to be resolved by the factfinder. Greenfield Seed Co. v. Bland, 18 Ark. App. 48, 710 S.W.2d 833 (1986), citing L. A. Green Seed Co. of Ark., supra, and its reference to Comment 4 to Ark. Code Ann. § 4-2-607; Industrial Electronic Supply, Inc., supra. However, where the evidence is such that it can lead reasonable minds to only one conclusion as to the sufficiency of notice, it becomes a question of law to be resolved by the court. Cotner v. International Harvester Co., 260 Ark. 885, 889, 545 S.W.2d 627, 630 (1977). The filing of a complaint itself does not constitute adequate notice. Williams, supra; Cotner, supra. General notice of an alleged defect is not enough; the notice must be sufficient to put the seller on notice that the buyer is looking to it for damages for the alleged breach of warranty. Cotner, supra.
In Cinnamon Valley Resort v. EMAC Enterprises, Inc., 89 Ark. App. 236, 202 S.W.3d 1 (2005), the Court of Appeals stated that it was not error to give a modified version of this instruction in a non-UCC construction warranty case where accompanied by a more specific instruction covering the common law regarding the notice issue there involved. For instructions regarding warranties in construction cases, see AMI 1205 to 1207.
© 2021 Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions-Civil
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