Warranty Suits: Select the Correct Defendant
Florida’s Condominium Act requires that contractors and suppliers provide a warranty of fitness and merchantability as to work provided and materials supplied for condominium developments. So when the roofing work done on a condo’s boat storage building failed, the association called back the roofer who had performed the work. He tried unsuccessfully to repair the roof but eventually advised the association the problem was actually with the product and not his labor. The association then contacted the manufacturer; however, it too would not accept responsibility for the leaks.
In the suit that followed, the association opted to only go after the manufacturer and it relied solely on the guaranty provided by the manufacturer to the roofer to prove its case. The association argued that it was the beneficiary of that warranty.
Not enough, said the court. To hold the manufacturer responsible under the Condominium Act, the association needed to allege more of a relationship. It needed to allege and show that the manufacturer “furnished, sold and/or delivered materials to the project.” This is what the statutory warranty calls for. Had it done that, the association’s complaint against the manufacturer may have carried the day. But without that specific allegation and proof, the association’s case against the manufacturer failed.