SW Legal Educational Publishing

Written Warranty May Be Void if Goods Accepted Subject to Oral Qualifications
Description The authenticity of a painting sold with a warranty was unclear. The dealer said he told the buyer of its history; the buyer says no. Summary judgment for breach of warranty not proper; material facts need to be determined at trial.
Topic Sales
Key Words Bill of Sale, Warranty
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Rogath bought a painting from Siebenmann for $570,000. "In the Bill of Sale, Siebenmann described the provenance of the Painting and warranted that he was the sole owner of the Painting, that it was authentic, and that he was not aware of any challenge to its authenticity." When Rogath sold the painting three months later for $950,000, the new buyer challenged its authenticity and demanded a refund. Rogath sued Siebenmann for breach of contract, breach of warranty, and fraud.
District Court Decision Summary judgment for $950,000 damages to Rogath for breach of warranty. Siebenmann was unsure of the provenance of the painting and knew that its authenticity was unclear. Other claims dismissed due to "full recovery" on warranty claim. Both parties appealed.
Court of Appeals Decision Remanded. UCC 2-313 provided that "[a]ny description of the good which is made part of the basis of the bargain creates an express warranty that the goods shall conform to the description." There is evidence that Siebenmann knew there were questions about the authenticity of the painting. There is conflicting testimony about what Siebenmann told Rogath about the authenticity of the painting. If Siebenmann told Rogath of doubts about the authenticity of the painting, Rogath will be "deemed to have waived any claims for breach of warranty arising from the written representations appearing in the Bill of Sale." These are issues of fact to be determined at trial.
Citation Rogath v. Siebenmann, ---F.3d--- (1997 WL 703455, 2nd Cir.)

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