Va. Code Ann. § 8.2-314 provides that, in all contracts for the sale of goods by a merchant, a warranty is implied that the goods are merchantable. In order to prove that a product is not merchantable, the complaining party must first establish the standard of merchantability in the trade.
An individual bought a sport fishing boat from a manufacturer. Unhappy with the performance and the low speed of the boat, he returned the boat and filed a case against the manufacturer. The buyer argued that the particular purpose for which the boat was intended was use as an offshore fishing boat capable of traveling at a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour, which the boat was not doing. The trial court held that the manufacturer breached an express warranty and implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose to the buyer. On appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia, the manufacturer alleged that there was insufficient evidence to support the lower court's ruling.
Was there sufficient evidence to support the trial court's ruling that the manufacturer of a sport fishing boat breached an express warranty and implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose?
The court held that buyer failed to establish a breach of an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose because the evidence failed to show that he made known to the sport fishing boat manufacturer the particular purpose for which the goods were required. The evidence showed that the boat manufacturer did not know that a boat incapable of travelling 30 miles per hour was unacceptable to the buyer.