A warranty of fitness is a type of warranty that asserts that the goods are suitable for the special purpose of the buyer, and such warranty will not be satisfied by mere fitness for general purposes. While the good may be fit for its ordinary purpose, this warranty of fitness goes a step further by specifying that the good must be fit for a particular purpose.
An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purposes, as stated in U.C.C. § 2-315, applies when the seller, at the time of contracting, has reason to know of any particular purpose for which the goods are required as well as reason to know that the buyer is relying on the seller’s skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods.
This warranty applies to retailers, distributors, and manufacturers, and arises only when at the time of contracting:
- the purchaser intends to use the goods for a particular purpose;
- the seller has reason to know of the particular purpose; and
- the seller has reason to know that the buyer is relying on the seller’s skill and judgment.
An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose may be waived by the buyer if the buyer is an expert or brings in outside experts. For instance, in Keith v. Buchanan, 173 Cal. App. 3d 13, 220 Cal. Rptr. 392 (1985), the plaintiff bought a boat from the defendant for the particular purpose of being “seaworthy.” Because plaintiff’s friend, who was experienced with boats, examined the boat before plaintiff’s purchase, the court found that the plaintiff had waived his implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.
[Last updated in September of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]