Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff sellers brought a breach of contract action against defendant buyer for the balance due on a sales contract. The buyer filed a counterclaim, contending that the products delivered were of such poor quality as to be useless. The buyer also filed a cross-complaint seeking damages. The Superior Court of Los Angeles, California, entered judgment for the sellers. The buyer appealed.

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The buyer purchased dies from the seller that were so defective as to have been useless. The buyer asked the seller to correct the problem, but the seller refused. The buyer sent the defective goods out for repair. In reversing, the court found that Cal. Civ. Code § 1769 allowed the buyer to accept the defective goods without being liable for the full contract amount. The court held that § 1769 gave the buyer a right to sue despite acceptance as long as he gave the required notice. Finding that the buyer provided proper notice, the court ordered the trial court to setoff the unpaid balance against the buyer’s damages and to enter judgment for the buyer for the balance.


The court reversed the trial court’s judgment with directions to amend the conclusions of law to conform to the opinion. The court ordered that the buyer was entitled to a setoff on the unpaid balance of the contract price against the damage caused by the seller for selling defective, useless goods.