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Why Many Implied Warranty Claims Fail Under New York Law

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By way of background, implied warranties are primarily applied in two contexts in New York: (1) in the breach of contract for goods context; and, (2) where a product was not safe for its intended use, i.e.,  in the defective consumer products context (for more on the latter category, please see "How to Prove a Breach of Implied Warranty Claim Under New York Law"). But in the breach of contract context as between a purchaser and seller of goods, UCC 2-315, entitled "Implied Warranty: Fitness for Particular Purpose," is the guiding statute. It provides, in pertinent part, as follows: "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." That being said, the very next statute, UCC 2-316, provides an exception that can swallow the rule that would allow for a breach of contract action based on breach of warranty, however. This provision, entitled "Exclusion or Modification of Warranties," provides several methods by which implied warranties may be excluded from a sales contract, including by, for example, a "conspicuous" written disclaimer. (See, Brennan v. Shapiro, 12 AD3d 547.) Therefore, in order to assess the viability of a breach of implied warranty claim, it is critical that you review the language of the contract; more often than not, it will contain a written disclaimer that will sound the death knell for a breach of warranty action.

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