SW Legal studies in Business

Breach of Warranty Exists Where Seller's Claim of Land Attributes Unfounded
Description Appeals court held that when a seller clearly promised that some land being sold could support building of a certain weight, when in fact it could not and the building suffered damage, the seller committed a breach of warranty.
Topic Contracts
Key Words Breach of Warranty
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Kain bought a parcel of land from Bluemound. Since the land had been filled, Kain was concerned that it would support a building exerting 3,000 pounds per square foot (PSF). The contract for sale included the statement "Bluemound ... hereby warrants and represents to ... Kain that the soils on the subject premises will satisfactorily support a minimum of 3,000 pounds per square foot." After Kain built a building that imposed less than 3,000 PSF, it sunk 2 inches in a couple years. Kain spent sustantial sums to repair the damage and to prevent further sinking. He sued Bluemound for breach of warranty. The judge dismissed Kain's claim for lack of evidence. Kain appealed.
Decision

Reversed. "A ‘warranty' is an assurance by one party to a contract of the existence of a fact upon which the other party may rely. It is intended to relieve the promisee of any duty to ascertain the fact for himself, and amounts to a promise to indemnify the promisee for any loss if the fact warranted proves untrue." The warranty here was clear and Kain's construction methods were proper; it was a mistake for the trial court to rule against Kain.

Citation Kain v. Bluemound East Industrial Park, Inc., 2001 WL 1042674 (Ct. App., Wisc., 2001)

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