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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
W. M. HOBBS, LTD. v. ACCUSYSTEMS OF GEORGIA, INC. et al.
71114.
CARLEY, Judge.
Action for damages. DeKalb Superior Court. Before Judge Tillman.
In November of 1983, appellant-plaintiff purchased a copying machine from appellee-defendant Accusystems of Georgia, Inc. (Accusystems). The equipment was manufactured by appellee-defendant Panasonic Company. Appellant subsequently experienced problems with the copier and appellees undertook remedial actions. However, in January of 1984, appellant gave notice that it was revoking its acceptance of the copier. OCGA 11-2-608. Appellant attempted to return the equipment. However, appellee Accusystems refused to accept the equipment. In March of 1984, appellant filed the instant action against appellees, seeking the return of the purchase price or damages for breach of warranty.
During the course of discovery, it was established that, after its unsuccessful attempt to return the equipment, appellant had continued to use it as an integral part of its ongoing business. By September 1984, appellant had processed approximately 60,000 copies on the equipment. Appellees moved for summary judgment in their favor. They also sought permission to file a counterclaim seeking rent for the use of the machine as alternative relief. The trial court conducted a hearing and granted appellees leave to file their counterclaim but also granted their motion for summary judgment as to the main action against them. Appellant appeals the grant of summary judgment.
The evidence shows that after appellant's purported revocation of its acceptance of the copier, it continued to use the equipment in its business and, by the time the motion for summary judgment was filed, had made some 60,000 copies therewith. Compare Trailmobile Div. of Pullman v. Jones, 118 Ga. App. 472 (164 SE2d 346) (1968) (no issue of post-rejection use involved). "By this evidence, appellee[s] made a prima facie showing that appellant had re-accepted the [equipment] after [its] purported revocation of acceptance, inasmuch as [appellant] had performed post-rejection acts which were inconsistent with the seller's ownership of the goods and which constituted [its] exercise of ownership. OCGA 11-2-606 (1) (c), 11-2-602 (2) (a), 11-2-607 (2). Appellee[s] having thus pierced the allegations of the pleadings, it became incumbent upon appellant to produce specific evidentiary facts in order to raise a genuine issue that an effective revocation of acceptance had occurred." (Emphasis supplied.) Griffith v. Stovall Tire &c., Inc., supra at 139. The only evidence concerning appellant's post-rejection continued use of the copier was simply that "it's more efficient for [appellant] to use it than not use it because [appellant] need[ed] a copier." Continued use of the equipment in furtherance of the efficient running of its business is an "exercise of ownership" by appellant (OCGA 11-2-602 (2) (a)) and an "act inconsistent with [appellee's] ownership. . . ." OCGA 11-2-606 (c). The trial court did not err in ruling that appellant had re-accepted the equipment and was not entitled to recover the full contract price. Griffith v. Stovall Tire &c., Inc., supra. See also OCGA 11-2-607 (1).
2. Since the evidence shows that, as a matter of law, appellant re-accepted the equipment and has no right to recover the full contract price, the question becomes whether appellant has an alternative remedy in the form of damages for breach of implied warranties. See OCGA 11-2-714 (2). In granting summary judgment in favor of appellees as to this issue, the trial court relied upon the provisions of OCGA 11-2-316 (3): "[W]hen the buyer before entering into the contract has examined the goods or the sample or model as fully as he desires or has refused to examine the goods there is no implied warranty with regard to defects which an examination ought in the circumstances to have revealed to him. . . ." The uncontradicted evidence is that appellant insisted that its original order of the equipment be made contingent upon a trial approval period. According to the evidence, the copier was left for approximately a week on a trial basis before appellant, having decided it could work out any difficulties, purchased it. Under this undisputed evidence, the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to appellees based upon OCGA 11-2-316 (3). Under that provision, there are no implied warranties "if the buyer voluntarily examines the goods, or a sample or a model as fully as he wishes." White & Summers, Uniform Commercial Code, 12-6, p. 367.
3. Appellees are entitled to retain the purchase price of the equipment and are not relegated to seeking rent for appellant's use of the equipment. Although appellant has accepted the equipment, it has no viable claim for breach of implied warranties.
Fred J. Stokes, for appellees.
John C. Mayoue, Alvah O. Smith, for appellant.
DECIDED JANUARY 6, 1986.
Thursday May 21 15:43 EDT


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