Smith v. Zimbalist
2 Cal.App.2d 324, 38 P.2d 170 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 1934)

  • Zimbalist, a noted violinist, was at the home of Smith, who collected violins. Zimbalist picked out two violins that were unmarked, decided that they were a Stradivarius and a Guarnerius, and offered Smith $8k, which he accepted.
    • Zimbalist gave $2k in cash and promised to return with the other $6k.
  • Turns out they were both forgeries, and Zimbalist refused to pay the $6k. Smith sued.
  • The Trial Court found for Zimbalist.
    • The Trial Court found that since the violins were listed as a Stradivarius and a Guarnerius on the bill of sale, there was an implied warranty that the goods would correspond to the description.
    • Basically, even though both parties were mistaken as to the value of the violins, the contract said that Smith was selling a Stradivarius and a Guarnerius, which he wasn’t.
      • Compare to the similar case of Beachcomber Coins, Inc. v. Boskett (400 A.2d 78 (N.J. Super A.D. 1979)).
  • See UCC §2-314 and §2-315 for information on implied warranties.