Whether you’re a consumer or a business owner, it’s important to learn about a breach of warranty and how the California courts handle lawsuits related to the matter.
In legal parlance, a warranty is a contractual term pertaining to the quality, condition, or character of goods that are being sold or purchased. If the seller breaches a warranty to the buyers, the latter can take legal action to protect their rights or their business.
U.S. laws governing warranties will help the plaintiff and their legal counsel determine what it is that a seller has agreed to sell the buyer. A class action attorney in San Diego can provide professional assistance for claims involving different kinds of warranties.
Different kinds of warranties
Under U.S. law, a warranty can be either an implied or express warranty. An implied warranty is automatic under the law.
Implied warranties in sales transactions
There are two main types of implied warranties governing transactions, namely:
- Implied warranty of merchantability
- Implied warranty of fitness for particular purposes
The implied warranty of merchantability is implied in any sale by the seller unless modified or excluded from the transaction. Under this kind of implied warranty, the seller warrants a reasonable level of quality in the goods being sold. The seller or merchant is an individual who sells goods or whose occupation touts them as having the skill and knowledge on the kind of goods sold.
If the seller has reason to believe that the buyer requires their goods for a particular purpose and are reliant on the seller’s judgment for selecting or providing goods that are suitable for that particular purpose, there is the implied warranty that their goods are well-suited for it unless the warranty is modified or excluded. In this case, “particular purpose” refers to the specific use that is unique to the nature of the buyer’s business.
Express warranties in sales transactions
An express warranty, on the other hand, arises from negotiations between the seller and buyer and is typically stated in a written contract. An express warranty can be made by the seller through any of the following statements or gestures:
- A model or sample that serves as part of the basis of the bargain, creating a warranty that the goods conform to the model or sample provided by the seller.
- A description of the goods as part of the basis of the bargain between seller and buyer, thereby creating a warranty that the goods will conform to the seller’s description.
- A promise or statement of fact pertaining to the goods sold as part of the basis of the bargain, effectively creating a warranty that the goods conform to the seller’s promise or statement.
An express warranty can be created even if the seller doesn’t explicitly mention warranties or guarantees during negotiations, and even if they don’t have a specific intention to create a warranty.
Breach of implied or express warranty
In the event that the seller breaches an implied or express warranty, the buyer can consider doing one of several things:
- Rejecting or revoking acceptance of any nonconforming goods, which means that they may cancel the contract involving the nonconforming goods.
- Purchasing substitute goods to cover the difference between the contract and market price for the substitute goods.
- Cancelling the contract if the nonconformity impairs the overall value of the contract.
If the buyer accepts any nonconforming goods, they can seek damages or monetary compensation for breach of the warranty provided that they give the seller notice within a reasonable timeframe.