Conway v. Cutler Group, Inc., 2014 Pa. LEXIS 2084 (Pa. Supreme Court, 2014)

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Summary:

Pennsylvania Supreme Court declines to extend implied warranty of habitability to subsequent purchaser.

Facts:

Buyers of a three-year-old home sued the builder of the home for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.

Highlights:

  • A builder-vendor impliedly warrants that the home he has built and is selling is constructed in a reasonably workmanlike manner and that it is fit for the purpose intended — habitation.
  • The question of whether and/or under what circumstances to extend an implied warranty of habitability to subsequent purchasers of a newly constructed residence is a matter of public policy, properly left to the General Assembly.
  • Where a builder knows or should know that the first purchaser of a newly constructed home will not be the first user, any implied warranties must necessarily extend to the first user-purchaser.
  • Although cogent reasons exist for extension of the warranty to the second buyers, any extension is the province of the legislature.
  • The implied warranty of habitability is firmly grounded in contract law. Under the facts of this case, where the builder-vendor sold a new home to a purchaser-user, an action for breach of the implied warranty requires contractual privity between the parties.