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Bayliner Marine Corp. v. Crow
Supreme Court of Virginia
509 S.E.2d 499 (1999)
In August 1989, John R. Crow (plaintiff) purchased a boat manufactured by Bayliner Marine Corporation (Bayliner) (defendant) to be used for offshore fishing. Prior to purchasing the boat, Crow asked John Atherton, a sales representative for the retailer, about the boat's maximum speed. Atherton gave Crow Bayliner’s promotional materials for the model that Crow had test driven. The materials described that model as having a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour provided certain conditions and specifications were in place. The materials also stated that this model was well suited for offshore fishing. Although Crow and Atherton discussed the boat's maximum speed in the context of offshore fishing, Crow never told Atherton that he required a boat with a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour. The boat that Crow purchased proved to have a maximum speed of 23-25 miles per hour, and as a result, Crow found the boat unsuitable for offshore fishing. Nevertheless, Crow used the boat for offshore fishing and logged 850 miles of engine use within the first few years after purchasing it. Crow’s boat had different specifications from the boat described in the promotional materials, including a smaller propeller and a higher gear weight. Crow brought an action against Bayliner, the retailer, and the manufacturer of the engine alleging that the promotional materials created an express warranty that the boat he purchased would reach the maximum speed of 30 miles per hour as described in the written materials. He also alleged breaches of the implied warranty of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The trial court held in favor of Crow, and the defendants appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Keenan, J.)
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