Thursday, December 26, 2013

Yarbro v. Neil B. McGinnis Equip. Co. case brief

Yarbro v. Neil B. McGinnis Equip. Co. case brief summary
101 Ariz. 378 (1966)

Plaintiff seller brought suit against defendants, the buyer and another individual, to recover payments due it pursuant to a conditional sales contract for the sale of a tractor. The individual appealed from a judgment of the Superior Court of Maricopa County (Arizona), which found that he was liable for the entire balance under the buyer's conditional sales contract.

The individual contended that his oral promises to pay the buyer's debt were unenforceable by reason of the Statute of Frauds, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 44-101, or, alternatively, that there was insufficient consideration to support the promises.


  • The court held that although the promises were of the type covered by the Statute of Frauds, they fell within the leading object or primary purpose exception to the statute. 
  • This exception provided that where the leading object of a person promising to pay the debt of another was actually to protect his own interest, such promise was valid, even though it was oral. 
  • Here, the record showed that the individual tried to purchase the tractor for himself, but that he was unable to obtain financing. 
  • The individual's promises were supported by sufficient consideration because the seller gave up its legal right to repossess the tractor in consideration for his promise to pay delinquent installment payments. 
  • However, the court modified the judgment against the individual. 
  • The individual only promised to pay delinquent installment payments. 
  • Therefore, the judgment against him was reduced to the amount of past due installments on the date of repossession.

The court modified the judgment against the individual by reducing the amount of the judgment to the amount of past due installment payments on the date of repossession and, as modified, affirmed the judgment against the individual.

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