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Lexington Park, MD 20653
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Breach of Warranty

 

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Breach of Warranty
Breach of Express Warranty
Maryland Law on Express Warranty
Implied Warranty

 

Warranties are a part of our daily lives.  When we purchase a product, there oftentimes will be a warranty attached to it that guarantees to the buyer that the product that the seller is selling works as advertised, promised or claimed.

 

What is a Breach of Warranty?

  A Breach of Warranty refers to the failure of a seller to fulfill the terms of a promise, claim, or representation made concerning the quality or type of the product. The law assumes that a seller gives certain warranties concerning goods that are sold and that he or she must stand behind these assertions.

 

  There are two forms of warranty breaches, Breach of Express Warranty and Breach of Implied Warranty.  

 

Breach of Express Warranty

  The Uniform Commercial Code (or U.C.C. for short) defines an express warranty under  § 2-313. Express Warranties by Affirmation, Promise, Description, Sample:

 

(1)  Express warranties by the seller are created as follows:

(a)  Any affirmation of fact or promise made by the seller to the buyer which relates to the goods and becomes part of the basis of the bargain creates an express warranty that the goods shall conform to the affirmation or promise.

(b)  Any description of the goods which is made part of the basis of the bargain creates an express warranty that the goods shall conform to the description.

(c)  Any sample or model which is made part of the basis of the bargain creates an express warranty that the whole of the goods shall conform to the sample or model.

 

(2)  It is not necessary to the creation of an express warranty that the seller use formal words such as “warrant” or “guarantee” or that he have a specific intention to make a warranty, but an affirmation merely of the value of the goods or a statement purporting to be merely the seller's opinion or commendation of the goods does not create a warranty.

 

  What the UCC is basically saying is that if a seller makes any kind of fact or promise to the buyer about the goods about to be sold, then an express warranty has been created.  The seller does not need to use any specific words such as “I guarantee” or “I promise”, so long as the words conveyed from seller to buyer create an impression that is part of the overall sale, then an express warranty has been created.  However, if a seller merely states the overall value of the goods or the statement made by the seller is clearly one of the seller’s opinion, then an express warranty has not been created. 

 

  What is important to know about the UCC is that it is not binding law for all 50 states.  States can pick and chose what sections (if any) of the UCC that they wish to govern in their particular jurisdiction. 

 

Maryland Law on Express Warranty

Maryland “defines an express warranty, in pertinent part, as follows:

(1) Express warranties by the seller are created as follows:

 

a.    Any affirmation of fact or promise made by the seller to the buyer which relates to the goods and becomes part of the basis of the bargain creates an express warranty that the goods shall conform to the affirmation or promise.”  McCarty v. E.J. Korvette, Inc., 28 Md.App. 421, 437, 347 A.2d 253 (1975).

 

  This falls in line with the UCC’s definition of Express Warranty.  This means that when making a purchase, if the seller creates to you (the buyer) an impression that becomes a part of the overall sale, an express warranty is created.

 

Implied Warranty

            There are various concepts that fit under an implied warranty.  For simplicity’s sake, in this article we will only focus on two, Implied Warranty of Merchantability and Implied Warranty of Fitness. 

 

  Just about every consumer product purchase comes with an implied warranty of merchantability, which means it is guaranteed to work if used for its intended purpose. For example, if you buy a washer, you expect to function in a particular manner, you expect it to be able to wash your clothes.  This also applies to used items, with the extra disclaimer that it will work as intended, given its condition at the time of resale.  The standards for merchantability are relatively low, basically guaranteeing that goods sold will do what they are supposed to do; have nothing significantly wrong with them; and are fit to be sold.

 

  In order for an implied warranty of merchantability to apply to a product, the product must satisfy the UCCs definition of merchantable.  Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) dictates that items are "merchantable" if they meet the following criteria:

        Must conform to the standards of the trade as applicable to the contract for sale;

        Must be fit for the purposes such goods are ordinarily used, even if the buyer ordered them for use otherwise;

        They must be uniform as to quality and quantity, within tolerances of the contract for sale;

        They must be packed and labeled per the contract for sale and;

        They must meet the specifications on the package labels, even if not so specified by the contract for sale.

 

  Some purchases come with what is called an implied warranty of fitness. This means that a product is guaranteed for a specific purpose, so this is a higher standard than merchantability.  So if you asked a salesperson to recommend a camera that can take pictures at night, but the one that's recommended turns out to not to be able to take night pictures, then you may return the item under its implied warranty of fitness.  There is a divide between states regarding the usage of the words “sold as is” or “with all faults.”  Retailers will sometimes mark items with these words in an effort to disclaim an implied warranty, but this is not allowed in all states.  Maryland is one of those states.  This means that a retailer cannot mark products with these words and even if they did, it would not waive an implied warranty of fitness.

 

  The information contained on this page is provided as general information and does not constitute legal advice.  The experienced attorneys at Baldwin, Briscoe & Steinmetz, P.C. can assist you if you are involved in a warranty claim.  Contact our office to schedule a no-obligation consultation to review your rights. 

 

 

 

The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Steinmetz, P.C. also offers these services:

Bankruptcy and ForeclosureBusiness LawCivil LitigationCriminal DefenseFamily LawGovernment Contracts LawIntellectual Property, Personal InjuryReal Estate, and Wills, Trusts, & Estates

 

 

Contact Us

The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Steinmetz, P.C.

22335 Exploration Drive

Suite 2030

Lexington Park, MD 20653

301-862-4400 Phone

301-862-3009 Fax

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Samuel C.P. Baldwin, Jr., Esq.

Janice Briscoe, Esq.

Richard J. Steinmetz Jr., Esq.

David J. Hebb, Esq.

Sandra Kaufman Jonasen, Esq.


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With an office conveniently located in Lexington Park, The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Stienmetz, P.C. serves clients in the counties and cities of Lexington Park, Leonardtown, Hollywood, Mechanicsville, Loveville, Helen, Breton Bay, Chaptico, Charlotte Hall, Golden Beach, Avenue, La Plata, Waldorf, Newburg, Port Tobacco, Port Charles, Solomons Island, Prince Frederick, Chesapeake Shores, Hughesville, Benedict, Nanjemoy, Lusby, Port Republic, St. Mary's County, Charles County, Calvert County, Prince George's County, Southern Maryland.


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