Implied Warranty of Merchantability

If you buy a product which turns out to be defective, you might look at the packaging to see if there is a warranty. If there is one, it is called an express warranty. But even if there is not an express warranty, the law still imposes an implied warranty, known as the implied warranty of merchantability.

Any time a product – including food – is sold in Missouri, the product must be fit for its ordinary purpose, must conform to the statements made on the label, and, in the case of fungible goods, must be of fair average quality as described. If the product fails in any of these respects, the consumer might have a claim against the seller or manufacturer of the product.

In order to bring a claim, however, the consumer will often be required to notify the seller of the problem. The notice should be given within a reasonable time after discovering the problem. It does not need to be formal or detailed. By giving
notice, the seller might have the opportunity to correct the problem and also to
prepare for a breach of warranty.

In many instances, a consumer who discovers that he or she has bought a product which is defective will want to discuss the matter with a lawyer. But consumers who choose to go it alone should remember that they usually need to notify the seller of the problem with a reasonable time.