Brenda Brandt was admitted to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center (Health Center) to receive treatment for urinary incontinence.

Brenda Brandt was admitted to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center (Health Center) to receive treatment for urinary incontinence. During the course of an operation, the doctor surgically implanted a ProteGen Sling (sling) in Brandt. Subsequently, the manufacturer of the sling, Boston Scientific Corporation, issued a recall of the sling because it was causing medical complications in some patients. Brandt suffered serious complications and had the sling surgically removed. Brandt sued Boston Scientific Corporation and the Health Center for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability included in Article 2 (Sales) of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Health Center filed a motion with the court to have the case against it dismissed. Health Center argued that it was a provider of services and not a merchant that sold goods, and because the UCC (Sales) applies to the sale of goods, Health Center was not subject to the UCC. The trial court agreed with Health Center, found that the transaction was predominantly the provision of services and not the sale of goods, and dismissed Brandt’s case against Health Center. The appellate court affirmed the decision. Brandt appealed. Issue Is the transaction between Brandt and Health Center predominantly the provision of services or the sale of goods? Language of the Court Where there is a mixed contract for goods and services, there is a transaction in goods only if the contract is predominantly for goods and incidentally for services. We now apply the predominant purpose test to the facts of this case. In this case, Brandt’s bill from the Health Center reflects that of the $11,174.50 total charge for her surgery, a charge of $1,659.50, or 14.9%, was for the sling and its surgical kit; a charge of $5,428.50, or 48.6%, was for all movable goods, including pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and sterile supplies. The remainder of the charges were for various services, including the hospital and operating rooms and various kinds of medical testing and treatment. A charge for the implantation of the sling by the surgeon was not included in the bill. A majority of the charges were for services rather than goods. Only a small fraction of the total charge was for the sling, the goods at issue in this case.

Decision

The supreme court of Illinois held that the provision of services, and not the sale of goods, was the predominant feature of the transaction between Brandt and Health Center and that Health Center was not liable under Article 2 (Sales) of the UCC. The supreme court of Illinois affirmed the decision of the trial court and appellate court that dismissed Brandt’s lawsuit against Health Center.

Case Questions Critical Legal Thinking

What is a good? Where there is a mixed contract for goods and services, what does the predominant purpose test provide?

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