Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tribe v. Peterson case brief

Tribe v. Peterson case brief summary
964 P.2d 1238 (Wyo. 1998)

Appellant buyer challenged a judgment of the District Court of Crook County (Wyoming), which was entered on a jury verdict for appellee sellers in the buyer's action for breach of an express warranty and negligent misrepresentation. The buyer claimed that it was error to deny his motion for summary judgment on the warranty claim and his motion for judgment as a matter of law on the warranty and misrepresentation claims.

The buyer purchased a horse from the sellers on assurances in a brochure that the horse was gentle, claiming that the horse was guaranteed not to buck. After he was injured, he brought an action for breach of warranty and negligent misrepresentation. The jury returned a verdict for the sellers and the buyer's post-judgment motions were denied. On appeal the buyer claimed that the trial court should have granted his motions for summary judgment or for post-judgment relief.


  • The court affirmed the judgment, ruling that the jury could have reasonably reached the verdict. 
  • The jury was not required to accept the buyer's version of the facts. 
  • Further, although the horse had been gentle in the past, testimony showed that its disposition was affected by different things and that even gentle horses bucked. 
  • The description in the brochure was merely a well-founded opinion, but even if it constituted an express warranty, the warranty was not breached. 
  • There was also overwhelming evidence that the sellers did not misrepresent the horse's disposition at the time it was sold. 
  • The buyer's alleged naivete was contradicted by the presence of an expert who helped him select the horse.
The court affirmed the trial court's denial of the buyer's motion for judgment as a matter of law, or in the alternative, his motion for a new trial.

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