Consider this scenario: You’ve bought a household appliance. The device is now snugly installed in your home and has been running for months. However, at a later point, you realize that the appliance is not functioning as it should. Are you legally able to bring a lawsuit directly against the seller or the manufacturer of the appliance?
The Notice Requirement: What You Must Know
Under § 672.607, Fla. Stat. “[t]he buyer must, within a reasonable time after he or she discovers or should have discovered any breach, notify the seller of the breach or be barred from any remedy.” (emphasis added). Therefore, in plain language, you must let the seller know about the product’s issues, before you can sue that seller. If you don’t, you may be “[prohibited] from any remedy”.
You must also provide this “notice” “within a “reasonable time” after you “have discovered” the defect. What is reasonable will depend on the circumstances. It’s generally assumed that you’ll be more likely to notice a defect in a product you use daily compared to one you use less frequently. In a legal case, whether the timing of the notice was “reasonable” will be a factual question to be determined by the trier of fact (the judge or the jury).
Manufacturer vs. Seller: Notice Requirements
However, Section 672.607 does not have the same requirement in a claim against the product’s manufacturer. Of course, to defeat your case, a manufacturer’s defense lawyer will be quick to claim that they are entitled to notice. But the statute is ambiguous and Florida courts have held as much.
In Nuwer v. FCA US LLC, 552 F. Supp. 3d 1344 (S.D. Fla. 2021), for example, the court held, interpreting section 672.607, that the plaintiff in the case was not required to give notice to the manufacturer. Id. at 1362 (“Plaintiffs are correct in their assertion that notice is required to be given to the seller, not the manufacturer, under Florida law.”); See also Dunham-Bush, Inc. v. Thermo-Air Serv., Inc., 351 So. 2d 351, 353 (Fla. 4th DCA 1977) (holding that one of the elements to plead a breach of warranty claim is notice to the seller, not the manufacturer).
Legal Counsel for Your Product Concerns
For more information on warranties, defective products, contract actions or any other business disputes, contact one of our experienced attorneys at 305-570-2208. You can also email our lead attorney Eduardo directly at email@example.com.
We at Ayala Law PA are passionate about helping those in legal need, so please don’t hesitate to schedule a case evaluation with us online here.
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