Keith v. Buchanan

173 Cal. App. 3d 13, 220 Cal. Rptr. 392 (1985)



An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose arises only where (1) the purchaser at the time of contracting intends to use the goods for a particular purpose, (2) the seller at the time of contracting has reason to know of this particular purpose, (3) the buyer relies on the seller's skill or judgment to select or furnish goods suitable for the particular purpose, and (4) the seller at the time of contracting has reason to know that the buyer is relying on such skill and judgment. 


Plaintiff buyer purchased a boat from defendant sellers after he reviewed the representations in the sales brochure and spoke with sales representatives. After the boat was delivered, a dispute arose as to the seaworthiness of the boat. Plaintiff brought suit and alleged a breach of an express warranty and breach of an implied warranty. The trial court dismissed the action at the close of plaintiff's case and held that there was no express warranty and there was no implied warranty of fitness. The buyer sought review to the Court of Appeal of California.


Are the sellers liable for express warranties?




The court held that the representations regarding the boat's seaworthiness made in sales brochures were affirmations of fact relating to the quality or condition of the vessel. The court stated that a warranty statement made by defendants was presumptively part of the basis of the bargain, and defendants carried the burden to prove that bargain did not rest on the representation. The court held defendants failed to overcome this burden. However, the court affirmed the trial court's holding that there was no implied warranty of fitness because there was substantial evidence that plaintiff did not rely on the skill or judgment defendants in the selection of the vessel in question.

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