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Pass v. Shelby Aviation, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Pass’s estate sued Shelby Aviation, Inc. (Shelby Aviation) for breach of express and implied warranties under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code when Shelby Aviation conducted maintenance on Pass’s airplane that led to Pass’ and his wife’s untimely death.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A transaction for both the sale of goods and services falls under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code if the predominant purpose of the transaction is the sale of goods.

    Facts.

    Pass owned an airplane that he took to Shelby Aviation, Inc. (Shelby) for inspection and service. Shelby replaced both of the airplane’s rear-wing attach-point brackets. Pass and his wife died four months later due to turbulence in the airplane. Pass’s estate sued Shelby for breaching express and implied warranties under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and Shelby sought to dismiss. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss and Shelby appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether a transaction for both the sale of goods and services falls under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code if the predominant purpose of the transaction is the sale of goods?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. The transaction is not governed by Article 2 of the UCC because the nature of Shelby’s business was for the maintenance and upkeep of aircrafts. Similarly, the language of the contract indicated that the transaction was for the service and inspection of the airplane.

    Discussion.

    Tennessee has adopted the predominant-factor test to determine whether a transaction involving the sale of both goods and services is governed by Article 2 of the UCC. The predominant factor test determines whether: (1) the predominant purpose of the transaction was services with goods incidentally involved, or (2) the predominant purpose of the transaction was the sale of goods with services incidentally involved.


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