Product Liability and Breach of Warranty
By Michael Verna on December 15, 2018
We expect companies to create products that are safe for consumers and function as advertised. That is not always the case, unfortunately. When products break, malfunction, or cause injury, the Bay Area law firm of Bowles & Verna can help. Our experienced product liability lawyers fight for consumers harmed by defective goods, willing to take on even major corporations and businesses who fail the buying public.
Attorneys Richard T. Bowles and Michael P. Verna would like to consider breach of warranty and how that plays into product liability lawsuits. We’ll offer definitions and examples of the terms relevant to this aspect of defective product cases.
“Breach of Warranty” Defined
When you purchase a product, there is a guarantee that the product will function the way it should when it is used as directed. This is known as a product warranty, and it means that products purchased will be safe, not defective, and will work properly.
When a product is harmful, defective, and does not performed as it was advertised, this is considered a breach of warranty.
Types of Breach of Warranty
Breach of warranty can take different forms. This includes breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, and breach of implied warranty of fitness. Let’s define each of these below.
- Express Warranty - An express warranty guarantees certain kinds of features or aspects of a product, such as the durability of a new laptop for five years. These kinds of warranties may be included in sales contracts or made by sellers of a product.
- Implied Warranty of Merchantability - An implied warranty of merchantability guarantees that the product purchased has no design defects or manufacturing defects. This warranty also guarantees that the labels and warnings on the product are accurate.
- Implied Warranty of Fitness - An implied warranty of fitness means that a seller knows a consumer wants a product for a specific purpose. The product sold to the consumer is guaranteed to meet those needs. If a consumer wants a laptop for video editing and sound mixing, the laptop sold to him should be able to address these needs.
Examples of Breach of Warranty
Now that the types of warranties above are defined, let’s provide some examples of breach of warranty for each.
- Breach of Express Warranty - If the laptop that was guaranteed to last for five years suddenly becomes unusable as a result of hardware or operating system problems that were not the fault of the consumer, the seller or maker of the laptop may have breached their warranty.
- Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability - If a person purchases a power drill that is poorly designed or improperly manufactured, it could pose a danger to the consumer. An injury while a consumer is using the defective power drill could mean a breach of implied warranty of merchantability.
- Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness - If a consumer was sold a laptop that does not meet their expressed needs for the product, that could be an example of a breach of warranty of fitness. In other words, the laptop was not fit for the task the consumer needed it for.
Contact Experienced Product Liability Lawyers
For more information about breath of warranty matters and how our legal team can help you, be sure to contact our team of product liability attorneys. The lawyers of Bowles & Verna are here to help. You can reach our office by phone at (925) 935-3300.