Breach of Express or Implied Warranty
June 17, 2022
A warranty is a legally-binding commitment by a manufacturer or seller to a consumer to repair or replace a defective product. The commitment is made at the time of the sale. A warranty could be written, oral, or implied. When a breach of express or implied warranty occurs, the consumer has legal options to hold the seller or manufacturer accountable.
If your business is facing a breach of an express or implied warranty claim, you might want to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options or possible defenses. As a commercial litigation attorney in Birmingham, Alabama, John – the founding attorney at Clark Law Firm PC – serves companies of all sizes throughout the state of Alabama as well as the Florida Panhandle.
Types of Warranties
Broadly speaking, warranties can be broken down into two types:
Express warranty (written or oral). An express warranty can come in written or oral form. This type of warranty constitutes any documentation or a written description of the product provided by the seller or the oral statements made by the seller at the time of sale. The buyer must rely on the description or statements made by the seller for it to constitute an express warranty.
Implied warranty. Typically, an implied warranty will be in addition to any express written and oral warranties. The typical implied warranty is that the product is safe and appropriate for the ordinary purposes for which it is intended to be used.
A company that breaches an express or implied warranty can be held liable for any personal injury, financial losses, or other non-monetary harm the buyer suffers as a result of the breach. A buyer can recover damages from the seller by filing a lawsuit and proving that there was a breach.
What Constitutes a Breach?
A breach of warranty occurs when a seller or manufacturer fails to fulfill a promise made to the buyer about the product. Thus, if the business fails to uphold the terms provided in the warranty , the buyer has a right to sue the company for a breach of express or implied warranty.
If your company is accused of breaching an express or implied warranty, the buyer has the burden to prove that they made a good faith effort to give you the opportunity to repair or replace the goods. Other requirements for a breach of warranty claim include proving that:
The warranty exists (either express or implied);
The defect is material or substantial; and
The consumer used the product in a reasonable and intended way.
Proving that a warranty exists can be complicated when the promises or statements about the product are made orally. In addition, the accused party can raise several defenses to avoid paying out damages.
Possible Defenses in Breach of Warranty Cases
There are several possible defenses that can be raised by the defendant in a breach of warranty case. Depending on the unique facts of the case, possible defenses may include:
Lack of privity (the parties had no contractual obligation to one another)
Lack of warranty (there was no warranty)
The buyer misused the product
The buyer failed to comply with the conditions set out in the warranty
Disclaimer that prevents a breach of warranty from occurring
Contractual limitations that limit the remedies available to the buyer
Insufficient notice (the buyer failed to provide notice of the breach within a reasonable amount of time)
Statute of limitations (for example, in Alabama, the buyer most likely has six years to bring a breach of warranty claim)
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be other remedies available to you as the defendant facing a breach of an express or implied warranty claim. Consider speaking with a knowledgeable commercial litigation attorney to discuss the facts of your case and help you craft a successful defense strategy.
How The Clark Law Firm PC Can Help
As a skilled business litigation attorney in Birmingham, Alabama, John provides valuable assistance to businesses with all kinds of issues and disputes. Clark Law Firm PC has a track record of success in representing businesses in cases involving breach of express or implied warranty. Contact John to discuss the available defense strategy in your specific case.