Legal Import of Inconsistent Design Specifications and Manufacturer Warranties
Presented by Joshua D. Baker and Brian T. Must, both of Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe, LLC
Various issues can arise when design specifications are inconsistent with or contradict warranty requirements on a typical design-bid-build (DBB) project. In the typical DBB project, there are contractual rights and obligations created between the owner and the architect and the owner and the contractor, but not between the architect and the contractor. This dynamic can often lead to situations where the design specifications actually void the manufacturer’s warranty.
This presentation will focus on three primary topics: 1) the delivery of warranty-compliant design specifications, 2) the legal rights and recourses available to owners, designers, specifiers, and manufacturers when the specifications are inconsistent with the warranty requirements, and 3) what courts have ruled when faced with situations involving inconsistent design specifications and warranty requirements.
How the legal system has treated ambiguous and/or uncertain terms between the project specifications and the warranties provided will be discussed. The potential impacts of unclear contract documents, including greater liability exposure and financial risk, will be presented. Best practices to avoid the potential consequences of voiding a manufacturer warranty will also be provided.