• July 8, 2014


Crystal Clear

Crystal Clear

“[Under Minnesota law,] [i]s reliance an element of a breach-of-express-warranty claim? If so, what type of reliance is required: contract-like reliance or tort-like reliance?”


Three cheers for the Minnesota Supreme Court for a recent decision (by Chief Justice Lori Gildea) in response to a late 2013 request by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit, which certified a question of Minnesota law to the Minnesota Supreme Court. (Isn’t that cool, by the way — a group of judges having the respect and humility to ask another Court for advice? One of the worst things about being a trial court judge, I’d think, would be that one does not have much of a chance to knock around questions with anyone else.)

What is great about the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision is that it not only answered the question correctly, to my mind, but it also took the Seventh Circuit’s certified questions and translated them into a simple question that lawyers, at least, will be able to understand (and maybe a civilian or two, as well):

Is a claim for the breach of a contractual representation of future legal compliance actionable under Minnesota law without proof of reliance?

Answer: Yes.

(I note that the Seventh Circuit “invite[d]” the Minnesota Supreme Court to “reformulat[e] the questions presented” so perhaps they had a sense that some alternative “formulation” might be preferable.)

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