In a case involving foundation repairs to a residence, the Texas Supreme Court addressed the question of whether the implied warranty for good and workmanlike repair of tangible goods or property can be disclaimed or superseded. The Court held that the implied warranty cannot be disclaimed, but it can be superseded by the parties. Gonzalez v. Southwest Olshan Foundation Repair Company, LLC, 400 S.W. 3d 52 (Tex. 2013).
In Gonzalez, a homeowner (“Gonzalez”) hired Olshan Foundation Repair Co., LLC (“Olshan”) to repair the foundation of their home. The repair contract (the “Contract”) included two warranty provisions. First, the Contract stated Olshan would use the Cable Lock system of foundation repair and would adjust the foundation for the life of the home. Second, it required Olshan to perform all of the necessary work in a good and workmanlike manner. Olshan repaired the foundation, but Gonzalez continued to experience foundation problems.
Gonzalez ultimately sued Olshan for, among other things, breach of express warranty, breach of the common law warranty of good and workmanlike repair, and DTPA violations. The jury found that Olshan did breach the implied warranty of good and workmanlike repair and committed DTPA violations, but did not breach any express warranty. The Court of Appeals reversed this holding on the grounds that the implied-warranty and DTPA claims were barred by the two-year statute of limitations. The case then proceeded to the Texas Supreme Court.
Olshan argued that its express warranty superseded any implied warranty of good and workmanlike repair. Therefore, because the jury held Olshan did not breach any express warranty, liability was precluded on Gonzalez’s implied-warranty claims. The Texas Supreme Court agreed. The Court stated that Texas law recognizes an implied warranty to repair or modify existing tangible goods or property in a good and workmanlike manner, and that such implied warranty cannot be disclaimed or waived. The Court then analogized this implied warranty with the implied warranty of good workmanship related to new home construction. See Melody Home Manufacturing Co. v. Barnes, 741 S.W.2d 349, 354 (Tex. 1984). The Court held that the implied warranty of good and workmanlike repair may be superseded if the parties’ agreement sufficiently describes the manner, performance or quality of the services to be provided.