A Seller's Responsibilities to Remote Purchasers for Breach of Warranty in the Sales of Goods Under Washington Law
The article examines Washington law pertaining to a seller's obligations to a remote purchaser with respect to the quality of goods, attending in particular to the judicially created exceptions to the privity requirement. 20 Part II explores the reasons a seller may provide and a buyer may purchase a warranty, reasons that bear on resolution of the question whether the privity requirement should be retained. Parts III and IV analyze not only what warranty obligations a seller may have to a remote purchaser but also the theoretical bases for those obligations and the manner in which those obligations may be excluded, modified, or disclaimed. Part V considers a number of arguments in favor of abolishing the privity requirement and demonstrates that the arguments do not merit the requirement's abrogation and that privity of contract is appropriate for a proper allocation of loss among a seller, its immediate buyer, and a remote buyer. Finally, the article concludes that seller liability to a remote buyer should exist, subject to the ability of a seller to create contractual rights in a remote buyer under U.C.C. section 1-103(b),21 only where the seller has made an express commitment to the buyer or where the remote buyer is a third-party beneficiary of a contract of sale between the remote seller and its intermediate buyer under established contract principles. Consistent with this conclusion, the article further maintains that the ability of a seller to make an express warranty to a remote buyer should be enhanced by eliminating the requirement that a buyer be aware of a representation prior to purchase in order to be able to enforce the representation as an express warranty.
Thomas J. Holdych, A Seller's Responsibilities to Remote Purchasers for Breach of Warranty in the Sales of Goods Under Washington Law, 28 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 239 (2004).