CACI No. 3222. Affirmative Defense - Statute of Limitations (Cal. U. Com. Code, § 2725)

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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3222.Affirmative Defense - Statute of Limitations (Cal. U. Com.
Code, § 2725)
[Name of defendant] contends that [name of plaintiff]’s lawsuit was not
filed within the time set by law. To succeed on this defense, [name of
defendant] must prove that
[the date of [tender of] delivery occurred before [insert date four years
before filing of complaint].]
[any breach was discovered or should have been discovered before [insert
date four years before filing of complaint].]
New June 2010; Renumbered from CACI No. 3213 June 2012
Directions for Use
Use this instruction to assert a limitation defense based on the four-year period of
California Uniform Commercial Code section 2725. (See Mexia v. Rinker Boat Co.,
Inc. (2009) 174 Cal.App.4th 1297, 1305 [95 Cal.Rptr.3d 285] [four-year statute of
Cal. U. Com. Code, § 2725 applies to warranty claims under the Song-Beverly
Consumer Warranty Act].)
A breach of warranty occurs when tender of delivery is made. (Cal. U. Com. Code,
§ 2725(2).) Include “tender of” if actual delivery was not made or if delivery was
made after tender. If whether a proper tender was made is at issue, the jury should
be instructed on the meaning of “tender.” (See Cal. U. Com. Code, § 2503.)
Under the statute, a breach of warranty occurs when tender of delivery is made
regardless of the aggrieved party’s knowledge of the breach - that is, there is no
delayed-discovery rule. However, if an express warranty explicitly extends to future
performance of the goods (for example, a warranty to repair defects for three years
or 30,000 miles) and discovery of the breach must await the time of the
performance, the cause of action accrues when the breach is or should have been
discovered. (Cal. U. Com. Code, § 2725(2).) In such a case, give the second option
in the second sentence. If delayed discovery is alleged, CACI No. 455, Statute of
Limitations - Delayed Discovery, may be adapted for use. (See Krieger v. Nick
Alexander Imports, Inc. (1991) 234 Cal.App.3d 205, 215-220 [285 Cal.Rptr. 717].)
Under the California Uniform Commercial Code, by the original agreement the
parties may reduce the period of limitation to not less than one year but may not
extend it. (Cal. U. Com. Code, § 2725(1).) Presumably, this provision does not
apply to claims under the Song-Beverly Act. (See Civ. Code, §§ 1790.1 [buyers
waiver of rights under Song-Beverly Act is unenforceable], 1790.3 [in case of
conflict, provisions of Song-Beverly Act control over Cal. U. Com. Code].)
Sources and Authority
Statute of Limitations Under Commercial Code. California Uniform Commercial
Code section 2725.
Buyers Waiver of Song-Beverly Protections Not Enforceable. Civil Code section
Song-Beverly Does Not Preempt Commercial Code. Civil Code section 1790.3.
“The [Song Beverly] Act was intended to supplement the provisions of the
California Uniform Commercial Code, rather than to supersede the rights and
obligations created by that statutory scheme. (See Civ. Code, § 1790.3.)
California Uniform Commercial Code section 2725 specifically governs actions
for breach of warranty in a sales context. We conclude that this special statute of
limitations controls rather than the general provision of Code of Civil Procedure
section 338, subdivision (a) for liabilities created by statute.” (Krieger, supra,
234 Cal.App.3d at p. 215.)
“[Defendants] now concede that the statute of limitations for an action for
breach of warranty under the Song-Beverly Act is four years pursuant to section
2725 of the California Uniform Commercial Code. Under that statute, a cause of
action for breach of warranty accrues, at the earliest, upon tender of delivery.
Thus, the earliest date the implied warranty of merchantability regarding
[plaintiff]’s boat could have accrued was the date [plaintiff] purchased it . . . .
Because he filed this action three years seven months after that date, he did so
within the four-year limitations period. Therefore, [plaintiff]’s action is not
barred by a statute of limitations.” (Mexia, supra, 174 Cal.App.4th at p. 1306.)
Secondary Sources
4 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Sales, § 214
3 Witkin, California Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Actions, §§ 474, 519, 962
1 California Products Liability Actions, Ch. 8, Statute of Limitations, § 8.02[2]
(Matthew Bender)
44 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 500, Sales Under the Commercial
Code, § 500.78 (Matthew Bender)
20 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 206, Sales, §§ 206.38, 206.61, 206.62
(Matthew Bender)
1 Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Contract Litigation, Ch. 4,
Determining Applicable Statute of Limitations and Effect on Potential Action, 4.05
3223-3229. Reserved for Future Use

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