CACI 3211 Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose—Essential Factual Elements
California Civil Jury Instructions CACI
3211 Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose—Essential Factual Elements
[Name of plaintiff] claims that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] was harmed because the [consumer good] was not suitable for [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] intended use. This is known as a “breach of an implied warranty.” To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:
1.That [name of plaintiff] bought a[n] [consumer good] [from/manufactured by/distributed by] [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 [consumer good] 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 provide a [consumer good] that was suitable for that particular purpose;
4.That [name of plaintiff] justifiably relied on [name of defendant]’s skill and judgment;
5.That the [consumer good] was not suitable for the particular purpose;
6.That [name of plaintiff] was harmed; and
7.That [name of defendant]’s breach of the implied warranty was a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm.
New September 2003; Revised November 2018
Directions for Use
If remedies are sought under the California Uniform Commercial Code, the plaintiff may be required to prove reasonable notification within a reasonable time. (Cal. U. Com. Code, § 2607(3).) If the court determines such proof is necessary, add the following element to this instruction:
That [name of plaintiff] took reasonable steps to notify [name of defendant] within a reasonable time that the [consumer good] was not suitable for its intended use;
See also CACI No. 1243, Notification/Reasonable Time.
If appropriate to the facts, add: “It is not necessary for [name of plaintiff] to prove the cause of a defect of the [consumer good].” The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act does not require a consumer to prove the cause of the defect or failure, only that the consumer good “did not conform to the express warranty.” (See Oregel v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc. (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 1094, 1102, fn. 8 [109 Cal.Rptr.2d 583].)
In addition to sales of consumer goods, the Consumer Warranty Act applies to leases of consumer goods—see Civil Code sections 1791(g)–(i) and 1795.4. This instruction may be modified for use in cases involving the implied warranty of fitness in a lease of consumer goods.
Sources and Authority
•“Implied Warranty of Fitness” Defined. Civil Code section 1791.1(b).
•Remedies for Breach of Warranty of Fitness. Civil Code section 1791.1(d).
•Waiver of Warranty of Fitness. Civil Code section 1792.3.
•Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act: Right of Action. Civil Code section 1794(a).
•Measure of Damages. Civil Code section 1794(b).
•Manufacturer’s Implied Warranty of Fitness. Civil Code section 1792.1.
•Retailer’s or Distributor’s Implied Warranty of Fitness. Civil Code section 1792.2(a).
•Damages for Nonconforming Goods. California Uniform Commercial Code section 2714(1).
•Damages for Breach of Warranty. California Uniform Commercial Code section 2714(2).
•“The Consumer Warranty Act makes … an implied warranty [of fitness for a particular purpose] applicable to retailers, distributors, and manufacturers … . 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 citations 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 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.)
•“The question of reimbursement or replacement is relevant only under [Civil Code] section 1793.2 … . [T]his section applies only when goods cannot be made to conform to the ‘applicable express warranties.’ It has no relevance to the implied warranty of merchantability.” (Music Acceptance Corp. v. Lofing (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 610, 620 [39 Cal.Rptr.2d 159].)
•“The Song-Beverly Act incorporates the provisions of [California Uniform Commercial Code] sections 2314 and 2315. It ‘supplements, rather than supersedes, the provisions of the California Uniform Commercial Code’ by broadening a consumer’s remedies to include costs, attorney’s fees, and civil penalties.” (American Suzuki Motor Corp., supra, 37 Cal.App.4th at p. 1295, fn. 2, internal citation omitted.)
•“The notice requirement of [former Civil Code] section 1769 … is not an appropriate one for the court to adopt in actions by injured consumers against manufacturers with whom they have not dealt. As between the immediate parties to the sale [the notice requirement] is a sound commercial rule, designed to protect the seller against unduly delayed claims for damages. As applied to personal injuries, and notice to a remote seller, it becomes a booby-trap for the unwary.’ ” (Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc. (1963) 59 Cal.2d 57, 61 [27 Cal.Rptr. 697, 377 P.2d 897], internal citations omitted.)