1. What Are General Disclaimers?
2. What Are Specific Warranties?
3. Written Disclaimer Clauses
4. Implied Warranty of Merchantability
5. How to Display a Product Disclaimer

A warranty disclaimer sample is a statement on a product that says a company or manufacturer will not be held liable for any injuries or damages that result from the use of the product.

What Are General Disclaimers?

To deter consumers from pursuing a lawsuit, companies tend to include a general disclaimer that attempts to waive any manufacturer responsibility for the product. If these disclaimers enabled companies to avoid liability that easily, there would be little reason for them to provide safe products. As long as a product is used reasonably, the law guarantees safety for the consumer. A written disclaimer given in store from a manufacturer does not waive the manufacturer's responsibility because the consumer was not given the opportunity to bargain for the loss of their warranty rights.

Even though companies are not able to shrug off liability through a general disclaimer, sellers can say that a product must be bought "as-is," meaning that the buyer has a chance to examine the product in the store and then decide if they want to purchase it.

What Are Specific Warranties?

Occasionally, companies choose to use a specific disclaimer that restates the law that a consumer cannot use a product unreasonably and then expect the company to be liable. These specific disclaimers are given a little more consideration in court, even though it won't fundamentally change the case since it's merely a restatement of the law. However, since it does warn the consumer of misuse, a company can argue that the consumer saw the warning and continued to improperly use the product. If the court finds that the consumer assumed the risk, the company is no longer liable for injuries.

Written Disclaimer Clauses

In the case where a consumer buys an item from a store, the product liability disclaimer does not legally protect the manufacturer of the product from liability because general disclaimers are not usually considered valid unless part of a written contract. A disclaimer would only be valid if the consumer had signed a written contract with the manufacturer that had contained a disclaimer clause. Custom-made products and other handmade items are commonly accompanied by written contracts.

Implied Warranty of Merchantability

Consumers have warranty rights when they purchase an item. Under the "implied warranty of merchantability" and the "implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose," manufactures and sellers are obligated to provide products that are safe and can reasonably be used in the manner they were designed. Because these warranties are implied, they do not need to be repeated every time a consumer buys something.

The implied warranties only protect consumers who have used the products in ways that were reasonably foreseeable. If a consumer tries to sue based on an unreasonable idea, such as saying that an iced drink should not contain ice, the company will not be held liable for damages.

The Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC, states that the seller implies that the goods they are selling are merchantable. Many merchants prefer to disclaim the implied warranty of merchantability and instead use specific warranties in purchase agreements or sales contracts.

When including a disclaimer for the implied warranty of merchantability in a contract, you will need to ensure it is conspicuous. While it is necessary to properly state your disclaimer in the contract, courts have disagreed about what it means to be adequately conspicuous. Disclaimers that use the exact same wording can be invalid in one jurisdiction but valid in another one. Some jurisdictions require that the warranty is bolded or italicized, while others need it to be printed in a different font or color from the rest of the contract.

How to Display a Product Disclaimer

When attaching a product disclaimer, companies should ensure it is:

  • Prominently displayed. It should be in plain view of the consumer where any reasonable person should be able to see it.
  • Difficult to remove. Consumers will not be able to claim it fell off or was otherwise not on the product when they bought it.
  • Long lasting. Since a product may be resold over its lifetime, the disclaimer needs to be durable enough to last changes in ownership.

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