Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 38, pp. 360-376, 1978
The title of this essay might be fittingly substituted for the official cite of the case of Cotton States Chemical Co., Inc. v. Larrison Enterprises, Inc. in which legal issues were thrown at sixes and sevens with little restraint, if any at all.
The plaintiff had sold a liquid herbicide to the defendant rice farmer, Larrison Inc. Larrison had been informed by employees of the distributor of the liquid herbicide, Tide Products Inc., and apparently by employees of Cotton States, that the herbicide could be aerially sprayed, rather than applied in pellet form, with similar results. As it turned out, the rice field, over which the liquid herbicide had been aerially sprayed, failed to yield the expected crop. The court noted that "the sale of the herbicide and the alleged failure of the result of its application occurred more than one year before this litigation arose,'' implying that the farmer suspended his payments which prompted Cotton States Chemical, the seller, to sue on the open account.
Thereupon, the defendant-farmer filed a reconventional demand and third partied the manufacturer of the liquid herbicide, Stauffer Chemical Company. In defense of his position Larrison attempted to raise the issue of "misrepresentation" on the part of Cotton States, Tide Products and Stauffer so as to be able to plead the advantages of "fraud." The court of appeal was not convinced, however, and correctly concluded that "even in cases where the seller (and the manufacturer, by presumption) had knowledge of the redhibitory defect but failed to declare it, the consumer must bring his action within one year following his discovery of the defect." The court went on to hold, therefore, that "the exception of one year liberative prescription to Larrison's reconventional demand for its damage of loss as against Stauffer was correctly sustained below." Yet the court, making a one hundred and eighty degree turn, proceeded to state that "Larrison's third party (indemnity) demand for judgment over and against Stauffer (its warrantor) has not prescribed. Judgment sustaining the exception of prescription and dismissing the third party (indemnity) demand against Stauffer is reversed."
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Date posted: December 18, 2009 ; Last revised: April 10, 2010
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