CACI 1232 Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose—Essential Factual Elements
California Civil Jury Instructions CACI
1232 Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose—Essential Factual Elements
[Name of plaintiff] claims that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun/it] was harmed by the [product] that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun/it] bought from [name of defendant] because the [product] was not suitable for [name of plaintiff]’s intended purpose. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:
1.That [name of plaintiff] bought the [product] from [name of defendant];
2.That, at the time of purchase, [name of defendant] knew or had reason to know that [name of plaintiff] intended to use the product for a particular purpose;
3.That, at the time of purchase, [name of defendant] knew or had reason to know that [name of plaintiff] was relying on [his/her/nonbinary pronoun/its] skill and judgment to select or furnish a product that was suitable for the particular purpose;
4.That [name of plaintiff] justifiably relied on [name of defendant]’s skill and judgment;
5.That the [product] was not suitable for the particular purpose;
6.[That [name of plaintiff] took reasonable steps to notify [name of defendant] within a reasonable time that the [product] was not suitable;]
7.That [name of plaintiff] was harmed; and
8.That the failure of the [product] to be suitable was a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm.
Directions for Use
This cause of action could also apply to products that are leased. If so, modify the instruction accordingly.
The giving of notice to the seller is not required in personal injury or property damage lawsuits against a manufacturer or another supplier with whom the plaintiff has not directly dealt. (Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc. (1963) 59 Cal.2d 57, 61 [27 Cal.Rptr. 697, 377 P.2d 897]; Gherna v. Ford Motor Co. (1966) 246 Cal.App.2d 639, 652–653 [55 Cal.Rptr. 94].)
If an instruction on the giving of notice to the seller is needed, see CACI No. 1243, Notification/Reasonable Time.
Sources and Authority
•Implied Warranty of Fitness for Particular Purpose. California Uniform Commercial Code section 2315.
•“A warranty is a contractual term concerning some aspect of the sale, such as title to the goods, or their quality or quantity.” (4 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Sales, § 51.)
•“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.” (Keith v. Buchanan (1985) 173 Cal.App.3d 13, 25 [220 Cal.Rptr. 392], internal citation omitted.)
•“ ‘A “particular purpose” differs from the ordinary purpose for which the goods are used in that it envisages a specific use by the buyer which is peculiar to the nature of his business whereas the ordinary purposes for which goods are used are those envisaged in the concept of merchantability and go to uses which are customarily made of the goods in question.’ ” (American Suzuki Motor Corp. v. Superior Court (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 1291, 1295, fn. 2 [44 Cal.Rptr.2d 526], internal citation omitted.)
•“The warranty of fitness for a particular purpose is not limited to sales by a merchant as is the warranty of merchantability. It may be imposed on any seller possessing sufficient skill and judgment to justify the buyer’s reliance. The Code drafters suggest, however, that a nonmerchant seller will only in particular circumstances have that degree of skill and judgment necessary to justify imposing the warranty.” (4 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Sales, § 75.)
•“The reliance elements are important to the consideration of whether an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose exists. … The major question in determining the existence of an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose is the reliance by the buyer upon the skill and judgment of the seller to select an article suitable for his needs.” (Keith, supra, 173 Cal.App.3d at p. 25, internal citations omitted.)
•In Keith, the reviewing court upheld the trial court’s finding that there was no reliance because “the plaintiff did not rely on the skill and judgment of the defendants to select a suitable vessel, but that he rather relied on his own experts.” (Keith, supra, 173 Cal.App.3d at p. 25.)
•“Vertical privity is a prerequisite in California for recovery on a theory of breach of the implied warranties of fitness and merchantability.” (United States Roofing, Inc. v. Credit Alliance Corp. (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 1431, 1441 [279 Cal.Rptr. 533], internal citations omitted.)
•Although privity appears to be required for actions based upon the implied warranty of merchantability, there are exceptions to this rule, such as one for members of the purchaser’s family. (Hauter v. Zogarts (1975) 14 Cal.3d 104, 115, fn. 8 [120 Cal.Rptr. 681, 534 P.2d 377].) Vertical privity is also waived for employees. (Peterson v. Lamb Rubber Co. (1960) 54 Cal.2d 339 [5 Cal.Rptr. 863, 353 P.2d 575].) A plaintiff satisfies the privity requirement when he or she leases or negotiates the sale or lease of the product. (United States Roofing, supra.)