Tacoma Boatbuilding Co. v. Delta Fishing Co

In Tacoma Boatbuilding Co. v. Delta Fishing Co., 28 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 26, 35 (W.D. Wash. 1980), the Western District of Washington considered whether a contractual clause limiting consequential damages was substantively unconscionable under Washington law, where mechanical problems developed in several boat engines after the contracting process. The purchaser in Tacoma Boatbuilding argued because the product did not work properly, the limitation clause was unconscionable. The court rejected this theory: Comment 3 to U.C.C. 2-719 generally approves consequential damage exclusions as "merely an allocation of unknown or undeterminable risks." Thus, the presence of latent defects in the goods cannot render these clauses unconscionable. The need for certainty in risk-allocation is especially compelling where, as here, the goods are experimental and their performance by nature less predictable. Tacoma Boatbuilding, 28 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. at 35.