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Georgia Contract Lawyer Explains Implied Warranties In Georgia: Part One

decision making.jpgGeorgia Contract Lawyer explains: When you are sold a product in Georgia, the product is generally covered by something called an “implied warranty.” This means the seller (who needs to be a regular merchant for the type of goods he sold you) warranties that what they’ve sold you is okay for use. The legal terminology is that they are warranting that the product they sold you is “fit for the ordinary purpose that the good is generally used for.”

The only way that a seller can get out of such an implied warranty is if he tells you (the consumer) before he actually sells you the product that he is selling it “as is” i.e. without a warranty.

Let’s look at what the law states under OCGA § 11-2-314 about implied warranties:

(1) Unless excluded or modified (this means unless the seller makes a disclaimer to the buyer that he is selling the product “as is”), a warranty that the goods shall be merchantable is implied (that means it is in existence even if the seller didn’t expressly say so) in a contract for their sale if the seller is a merchant with respect to goods of that kind. (This means implied warranties generally only work for if the seller regularly sells those types of goods: i.e. a car dealer generally sells cars vs. your neighbor selling his on Craigslist, a department store generally sells clothing vs you selling clothes at your yard sale and a grocery store generally sells lemonade vs. the kid at the lemonade stand. In these cases, there is no implied warranty at the lemonade stand, yard sale, or on Craigslist: implied warranties only exist for the sellers who generally sell those types of goods, unless you have a trade relationship or course of dealing relationship…e.g… you buy gallons of lemonade from your neighbor every week) Under this Code section the serving for value of food or drink to be consumed either on the premises or elsewhere is a sale.

(2) Goods to be merchantable must be at least such as:

(a) Pass without objection in the trade under the contract description; and
(b) In the case of fungible goods, are of fair average quality within the description; and
(c) Are fit for the ordinary purposes for which such goods are used; and
(d) Run, within the variations permitted by the agreement, of even kind, quality, and quantity within each unit and among all units involved; and
(e) Are adequately contained, packaged, and labeled as the agreement may require; and
(f) Conform to the promises or affirmations of fact made on the container or label if any.

(3) Unless excluded or modified other implied warranties may arise from course of dealing or usage of trade.

Thus under Georgia law, you can be assured that unless a merchant sells you a product “as is”, and there is privity between you and the seller (you and the seller had the buy-sell relationship–i.e. the transaction was between each other,) there exists an implied warranty that protects you the consumer. This implied warranty will allow you to be sure that the good you’ve purchased is fit for ordinary purpose. Thus, if you purchase a car and it blows up or you buy a steak at a restaurant and it has a sharp metal object in it—you can consider whether the implied warranty of merchantibility has been broken.