By Alexander Barthet

Florida’s Condominium Act requires that contractors and suppliers provide a warranty of fitness and merchantability as to work provided and materials supplied for condominium developments. So when the roofing work done on an association’s boat storage building failed, it called back the roofer who had performed the work. He tried unsuccessfully to repair the roof but eventually advised the association the problem was actually with the product and not his labor. The association then contacted the manufacturer; however, it too would not accept responsibility for the leaks.

In the suit that followed, the association opted to only go after the manufacturer and it relied on the statutory warranty. In presenting its case, the association alleged that it was entitled to a repair based on the guaranty provided by the manufacturer to the roofer. Not enough, said the court. To hold the manufacturer responsible under the Condominium Act, the association needed to go further and actually allege that the manufacturer “furnished, sold and/or delivered materials to the project.”

The law requires the right words to correctly describe a claim if that claim is to be enforceable. Had it done so, the association could have pursued the manufacturer – a small mistake but one with significant implications.

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