Warranty theories in Atlanta and Macon products liability claims

Breach of warranty is one of three legal theories for recovering damages in an Atlanta or Macon defective products case, the other two being strict liability and negligence. Warranty theories of recovery for injuries caused by a product are related to contract law. In most states, a statute called the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) sets forth the law on warranty.

Warranty theories of recovery in products liability cases are subdivided into two types:

  • Express warranty.
  • Implied warranty.

Express warranty

An express warranty is promise from the seller assuring the quality or performance of the product. A seller who breaches an express warranty can be held liable by someone who relied on the warranty. This principle of liability can apply to manufacturers as well as sellers such as distributors and retailers.

A claim for breach of an express warranty is potentially a very strong claim since it will not require proof that a product was defective. Think of it like this: liability for breach of express warranty does not depend on a defect in the product, but only on a breach of the warranty since even a non-defective product might fail to perform as warranted.

For example, a pharmaceutical manufacturer says, “This skin care compound will also protect against cancer.” If the product works as a skin care product but fails to protect against cancer, there might be a claim for breach of express warranty even though the product is not defective.

In a claim for breach of express warranty, you will have to demonstrate that your injury resulted from the failure of the product to perform as expressly warranted.

Implied warranty

A defendant in a Macon products liability case may also be liable for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability or the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. These warranties are in the law known as the UCC.

Fitness for a Particular Purpose. As with express warranties, if you pursue a theory based on breach of the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose you do not necessarily need to prove that a product was defective. Rather, you have to prove that (a) the seller knew or had reason to know before the sale the purpose for which you were buying the goods; (b) you relied on the seller’s judgment in selecting goods suitable for that purpose; and (c) the goods were not, in fact, suitable for the purpose.

Merchantability. The implied warranty of merchantability protects consumers from product defects that arise from ordinary and expected uses. Claims based on this theory may overlap with those based on strict liability. For example, in cases in which the alleged breach of the implied warranty of merchantability is based on improper design or warnings, the proof will not be very different from the proof in support of a strict-liability claim.

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