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§ 2315. Implied warranty: fitness for particular purpose

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 13 Pa.C.S.A. Commercial Code

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 13 Pa.C.S.A. Commercial Code (Refs & Annos)
Division 2. Sales (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 23. General Obligation and Construction of Contract
13 Pa.C.S.A. § 2315
§ 2315. Implied warranty: fitness for particular purpose
Where the seller at the time of contracting has reason to know:
(1) any particular purpose for which the goods are required; and
(2) that the buyer is relying on the skill or judgment of the seller to select or furnish suitable goods;
there is unless excluded or modified under section 2316 (relating to exclusion or modification of warranties) an implied warranty that the goods shall be fit for such purpose.


1979, Nov. 1, P.L. 255, No. 86, § 1, effective Jan. 1, 1980.
Prior Uniform Statutory Provision: Section 15(1), (4), (5), Uniform Sales Act.
Changes: Rewritten.
Purposes of Changes:
1. Whether or not this warranty arises in any individual case is basically a question of fact to be determined by the circumstances of the contracting. Under this section the buyer need not bring home to the seller actual knowledge of the particular purpose for which the goods are intended or of his reliance on the seller's skill and judgment, if the circumstances are such that the seller has reason to realize the purpose intended or that the reliance exists. The buyer, of course, must actually be relying on the seller.
2. 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. For example, shoes are generally used for the purpose of walking upon ordinary ground, but a seller may know that a particular pair was selected to be used for climbing mountains.
A contract may of course include both a warranty of merchantability and one of fitness for a particular purpose.
The provisions of this Article on the cumulation and conflict of express and implied warranties must be considered on the question of inconsistency between or among warranties. In such a case any question of fact as to which warranty was intended by the parties to apply must be resolved in favor of the warranty of fitness for particular purpose as against all other warranties except where the buyer has taken upon himself the responsibility of furnishing the technical specifications.
3. In connection with the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose the provisions of this Article on the allocation or division of risks are particularly applicable in any transaction in which the purpose for which the goods are to be used combines requirements both as to the quality of the goods themselves and compliance with certain laws or regulations. How the risks are divided is a question of fact to be determined, where not expressly contained in the agreement, from the circumstances of contracting, usage of trade, course of performance and the like, matters which may constitute the “otherwise agreement” of the parties by which they may divide the risk or burden.
4. The absence from this section of the language used in the Uniform Sales Act in referring to the seller, “whether he be the grower or manufacturer or not,” is not intended to impose any requirement that the seller be a grower or manufacturer. Although normally the warranty will arise only where the seller is a merchant with the appropriate “skill or judgment,” it can arise as to nonmerchants where this is justified by the particular circumstances.
5. The elimination of the “patent or other trade name” exception constitutes the major extension of the warranty of fitness which has been made by the cases and continued in this Article. Under the present section the existence of a patent or other trade name and the designation of the article by that name, or indeed in any other definite manner, is only one of the facts to be considered on the question of whether the buyer actually relied on the seller, but it is not of itself decisive of the issue. If the buyer himself is insisting on a particular brand he is not relying on the seller's skill and judgment and so no warranty results. But the mere fact that the article purchased has a particular patent or trade name is not sufficient to indicate nonreliance if the article has been recommended by the seller as adequate for the buyer's purposes.
6. The specific reference forward in the present section to the following section on exclusion or modification of warranties is to call attention to the possibility of eliminating the warranty in any given case. However it must be noted that under the following section the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose must be excluded or modified by a conspicuous writing.
Cross References:
Point 2: Sections 2-314 and 2-317.
Point 3: Section 2-303.
Point 6: Section 2-316.
Definitional Cross References:
“Buyer”. Section 2-103.
“Goods”. Section 2-105.
“Seller”. Section 2-103.
This section roughly approximates § 15(2) of the Uniform Sales Act, 69 P.S. § 124 (repealed). The Code is somewhat broader than the prior statute in making clear that a warranty may arise if the buyer relies on the seller either “to select” or “to furnish” suitable goods. Under the Code a warranty is also imposed where the seller has “reason to know” a buyer's purpose. Contrast the weaker language of the prior statute (warranty arises where the buyer “makes known” his purpose to the seller).
The warranty of fitness for purpose under the Uniform Sales Act, 69 P.S. § 124 (repealed), has had broad application in the decisions. See: Jones & Laughlin Steel Co. v. Wood, 249 Pa. 423, 94 Atl. 1067 (1915); Wright v. General Carbonic Company, 271 Pa. 332, 114 Atl. 517 (1921); Peerless Electric Co. v. Call, 82 Pa.Super.Ct. 550 (1924); The St. S. Angelo Toso, 271 Fed. 245 (C.C.A.3d, 1921); Griffin v. Metal Product Co., 264 Pa. 254, 107 Atl. 713 (1919); Maine Electric Co. v. General Engineering Works, 95 Pa.Super.Ct. 397 (1929); Bonenberger v. Pittsburgh Mercantile Co., 345 Pa. 559, 28 Atl.(2d) 913 (1943) (retailer liable for defect in commodity sold in sealed container); Madden v. Great A. & P. Tea Co., 106 Pa.Super.Ct. 474, 162 Atl. 687 (1932). Cf. Demos Const. Co. v. Service Supply Corp., 153 Pa.Super.Ct. 623, 34 Atl.(2d) 828 (1944) (no reliance on seller found); Hill & McMillan v. Taylor, 304 Pa. 18, 155 Atl. 103 (1931) (no warranty where buyer orders according to specifications); Hartford Battery Sales Corp. v. Price, 119 Pa.Super.Ct. 165, 181 Atl. 95 (1935).
Sales Under Patent or Trade Name. The most significant modification is the omission of any provision comparable to § 15(4) of the repealed Uniform Sales Act, which withdrew the warranty of fitness for purpose from sales “of a specified article under its patent or other trade name.” This provision has caused difficulty in application, but in general, has been taken to spell out one instance in which the buyer makes his own selection and does not rely on the seller. Montgomery Foundry and Fittings Co. v. Hall etc. Co., 282 Pa. 212, 127 Atl. 633 (1925) (warranty barred by patent name); Griffin v. Metal Product Co., 264 Pa. 254, 107 Atl. 713 (1919) (generic name not “trade name”); Tinius Olsen Testing Mach. Co. v. Wolf Co., 297 Pa. 153, 146 Atl. 541 (1929); Wolstenholme v. Jos. Randall & Bro., 295 Pa. 131, 144 Atl. 909 (1929) (“artificial silk carded” not a trade name); U.S. Gypsum Co. v. Birdsboro Steel Foundry & Machine Co., 45 Pa. D. & C. 259 (1943); Hobart Mfg. Co. v. Rodziewicz, 125 Pa.Super.Ct. 240, 189 Atl. 580 (1937) (not sale under trade name designating article when buyer relies on seller). Occasionally the “trade name” qualification has been given greater effect. Madison-Kipp Corp. v. Price Battery Corp., 311 Pa. 22, 166 Atl. 377 (1933) (warranty excluded); Sebastianelli v. Frank, 108 Pa.Super.Ct. 550, 165 Atl. 664 (1933) (same). In view of the narrow scope generally given by cases to the “trade name” qualification, its omission from the statute clarifies rather than changes the law.
Uniform Law:
This section is similar to § 2-315 of the Uniform Commercial Code. See Uniform Laws Annotated, Master Edition, or Uniform Laws Annotated on Westlaw.
Prior Laws:
1959, Oct. 2, P.L. 1023, § 2.
1953, April 6, P.L. 3, § 2-315 (12A P.S. § 2-315).
13 Pa.C.S.A. § 2315, PA ST 13 Pa.C.S.A. § 2315
Current through 2020 Regular Session Act 22. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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