Understanding Product Liability and Breach of Warranty

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on February 22, 2019

A consumer protection book and judge's gavelAt Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton, our attorneys handle different types of lawsuits to help clients obtain the maximum compensation for their injuries and other damages.

One type of lawsuit our attorneys handle is product liability and breach of warranty. A product liability lawsuit may be filed when a product doesn't work as expected and causes injuries.

Our attorneys can help victims injured by faulty products recover damages for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering through a product liability and breach of warranty lawsuit. If you live in the Provo, UT area and believe you were injured by a defective product, we encourage you to contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options.

What Is Product Liability?

Product liability is a type of legal liability placed on manufacturers or sellers when a product has an unexpected defect or is unexpectedly dangerous. Product liability laws are intended to hold manufacturers and sellers liable when defective products get into the hands of consumers and cause injury or other damages.

What Is a Breach of Warranty?

Product warranties are guarantees made to consumers that a product will work a certain way or function to a certain standard. A breach of warranty means that a product failed to function or work as represented or promised by the seller or manufacturer.

There are different types of breaches of warranty: breach of express warranty and implied warranty of merchantability.

Breach of Express Warranty

Express warranties are clear promises that a product will perform or function a certain way. Express warranties are generally included in sales contracts, but may be provided verbally from a salesperson. However, verbal express warranties can be difficult to prove and may not be binding, specifically when specified as non-binding in a sales contract.

For example, a sales contract may guarantee that a power saw can cut through any material. The express warranty would be breached if the power saw was unable to cut through metal or other materials since the contract guaranteed the saw could cut through anything.  

Implied Warranty of Merchantability

Implied warranty of merchantability means that a product is guaranteed not to have manufacturing defects, design defects, or improper labels.

When a manufacturer or seller places a product for sale, an implied promise has been made that the product will function in the manner in which it is being sold.

For example, when a vacuum is sold as being able to pick up dry and wet spills, but becomes damaged when vacuuming liquid, it may be due to a product or design defect. Accordingly, there may be grounds for breach of implied warranty of merchantability as the item was sold to be used for both wet and dry spills but was unable to vacuum wet spills.

Product Liability and Breach of Warranty

When a product doesn't perform as reasonably expected or as stated by the seller or manufacturer and the consumer becomes injured, there is often grounds for a product liability lawsuit. Through a product liability lawsuit, it may be possible to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

In situations where product liability is in question, a breach of warranty may also have occurred. Often times, when a defective product causes injury or damage, it's generally true that the product didn't function according to warranty, either express or implied.

Including a breach of warranty claim is common in product liability lawsuits. Proving that there was a breach of warranty, whether express or implied, can help build a strong support for a product liability claim.

Contact Our Attorneys

If you have been injured from a product you believe was defective, please call (801) 370-0505 to schedule a case review with one of our attorneys.

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