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Cuchine v. H.O. Bell, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Cuchine sued H.O. Bell, Inc. (Bell) for breach of contract when Bell was unable to fix a faulty truck that was sold to Cuchine.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Under the Uniform Commercial Code, a party cannot sue another party’s assignee for the assignor’s breach of contract.

    Facts.

    Cuchine bought a truck from H.O. Bell, Inc. (Bell) under an installment contract. Bell assigned its interest in the contract to Ford Motor Credit Company (Credit). Cuchine brought the truck to Bell for repairs when Cuchine began to experience difficulties with the truck. Cuchine left the truck with Bell, stopped paying the installments, and sued both Bell and Credit when Bell could not fix the truck. Cuchine asked the trial court to rescind the contract and the trial court dismissed the case against Credit.

    Issue.

    Whether a party can sue another party’s assignee for the assignor’s breach of contract?

    Held.

    No. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. The Uniform Commercial Code does not allow Credit for a breach of contract committed by Bell.

    Discussion.

    Under the Uniform Commercial Code, a party cannot sue another party’s assignee for the assignor’s breach of contract.Michelin Tires v. First National Bank of Boston, 666 F.2d 673 (1st Cir. 1981) prevents a party from suing the assignee for an assignor’s breach of contract. An assignee is not the guarantor of an assignor’s contract obligations.


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