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Smith v. Timberpro Inc.

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

March 9, 2017

J.W. SMITH, ET AL.
v.
TIMBERPRO INC., ET AL.

          Session: January 18, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Carroll County No. 13CV76 Donald E. Parish, Judge

         J.W. Smith d/b/a J.W. Smith Logging ("Smith") appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Don Bush d/b/a Bush Forestry Equipment ("Bush") and Woodland Equipment, Inc. ("Woodland"). Smith filed this lawsuit against Bush and Woodland seeking damages for breach of contract and breach of express and implied warranties. His claims arose from his purchase of an allegedly defective harvester from Woodland. The trial court granted summary judgment to Bush based on the absence of contractual privity between Smith and Bush. The trial court granted summary judgment to Woodland based on the absence of evidence that it breached any express warranties to Smith and based on a disclaimer of implied warranties included in its contract with Smith. On appeal, Smith argues that the record contains issues of disputed fact as to (1) whether Bush was a joint-seller of the harvester with Woodland, (2) whether Woodland and Bush breached express warranties to Smith, and (3) whether the disclaimer of implied warranties was part of Smith's contract for purchase of the harvester. We agree with the trial court that the record does not contain any evidence of contractual privity between Smith and Bush and therefore affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Bush on all of Smith's claims. We also agree that the record does not contain evidence that Woodland breached express warranties to Smith and therefore affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Woodland on Smith's claim for breach of express warranties. We do not agree, however, that the disclaimer of implied warranties was included in Smith's contract with Woodland for purchase of the harvester. We therefore reverse the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Woodland on Smith's claim for breach of implied warranties. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and this case is remanded for further proceedings.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed in Part, Reversed in Part, and Remanded.

          W. Timothy Harvey, and Rebecca J. Garman, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, J.W. Smith d/b/a J.W. Smith Logging.

          Fred N. McLean, Paris, Tennessee, for the appellee, Don Bush d/b/a Bush Forestry Equipment.

          Kenneth R. Shuttleworth and Michelle Handelsman, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Woodland Equipment, Inc.

          Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Brandon O. Gibson and Kenny Armstrong, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE

         Background and Procedural History

         Smith owns and operates a logging business based in Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee. In 2010, Smith decided to purchase a commercial harvester designed and manufactured by TimberPro, Inc. ("TimberPro"). Smith contacted Bush, a Tennessee TimberPro dealer, about purchasing a TimberPro harvester equipped with a Risley harvesting head. Bush referred Smith to Woodland, a Michigan TimberPro dealer, because he believed that Woodland would be better-suited to installing the harvesting head.

         In April 2010, Smith and Woodland entered into a written contract, titled "Sales Order, " for the sale of a TimberPro TL735B harvester equipped with a Risley Rolly II harvesting head. The Sales Order reflects Smith's agreement to pay Woodland $481, 000 for the harvester, states that it constitutes the entire contract between Woodland and Smith, and includes the following reference to a TimberPro warranty policy:

(Image Omitted.)

         The harvester was delivered to Smith in June 2010. Bush met with Smith when the harvester was delivered, ostensibly to help familiarize him with the harvester. During the meeting, Smith signed a document, titled "Delivery Report, " which stated in part, "Having read the TimberPro Warranty Policy . . . I now have a working knowledge of [the harvester]."

         The TimberPro warranty policy referenced in the Sales Order and Delivery Report states:

1. Product Warranty. Subject to the terms and conditions of this limited warranty, Timberpro, Inc. ("Timberpro") warrants to the original Purchaser only of 725 & 735 Series Machines that under normal use and conditions the machines will be free from defect in material and workmanship when used for their intended purpose for a period of one (1) year-from delivery to the Purchaser or 2000 machine hours, whichever occurs first.
THIS LIMITED WARRANTY AND THE REMEDIES DESCRIBED HEREIN ARE PURCHASER'S SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY, AND ARE OFFERED BY TIMBERPRO IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, GUARANTEES, AND/OR REMEDIES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND/OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE UNDER THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE, OR OTHER ...

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