Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hydraform Products Corp. v. American Steel & Aluminum Corp. case brief

Hydraform Products Corp. v. American Steel & Aluminum Corp. case brief summary
498 A.2d 339 (1985)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff purchaser brought this action against defendant seller for direct and consequential damages based on claims of negligent misrepresentation and breach of a contract to supply steel to be used in manufacturing woodstoves. The seller appealed from the order of the Superior Court of Strafford County (New Hampshire) that entered judgment on a jury verdict against the seller.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court held that the trial court properly held that a limitation of damages clause was ineffective to bar the claim for consequential damages. 
  • The record supported the trial court's conclusion that the circumstances in this case did cause the exclusive remedy clause to fail of its purpose because the limitation clause did not address the problem of late shipment at all. 
  • The court found that the trial court did err:
  • 1) in allowing the jury to calculate lost profits on the basis of a volume of business in excess of what the contract disclosed and for a period beyond the year in which the steel was to be supplied; 
  • 2) in allowing the jury to award damages for the diminished value of the woodstove division of the purchaser's business; 
  • 3) in allowing the purchaser's president to testify as an expert witness; and 4) in failing to direct a verdict for the defendant on the misrepresentation claim because considering the evidence in the light most favorable to the purchaser, a reasonable jury could not find that the element of false factual representation had been proven.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the order of the trial court that entered judgment on a jury verdict against the seller.

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