Implied Warranty – Fitness for Purpose
The Unified Commercial Code states
Where the seller at the time of contracting has reason to know any particular purpose for which the goods are required and that the buyer is relying on the seller’s skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods, there is unless excluded or modified under the next section an implied warranty that the goods shall be fit for such purpose. UCC 2-315. (External Link)
This means that if a seller knows the particular reason the buyer needs the goods and understands that the buyer relies on them to select suitable goods for their purpose.
Fitness for Purpose – The Three Main Requirements
- The buyer makes the purpose of the goods known.
- The buyer relied on the seller’s skill and judgment.
- The seller’s business is in providing specific goods.
I tell a watch merchant that I want a diving watch and will dive to 30 meters depth. The merchant understands the purpose of my purchase but sells me a watch only suitable for 10 meters in depth. I go diving and the watch leaks and is damaged.
The merchant is in breach of an Implied Warranty of Fitness For A Particular Purpose.
If the merchant sells many watches but expressly states that they are not knowledgeable in specialized diving watches and allows you to take time to check and select your own they may not be in breach.
– This may also be true when a merchant has partial information regarding the purpose of the goods.
– In this case, buyers should understand that it is not reasonable to require a warranty that the goods will be fit for a particular purpose where the buyer knows better than the seller. See Goods Sold As Seen.