VF Law Wins in AZ Supreme Court Construction Defect Case Upholding the Implied Warranty

Darrien Shuquem

MESA, AZ—Vial Fotheringham, LLP (VF-Law) is proud to announce that Darrien Shuquem, Esq., secured a significant victory in the Arizona Supreme Court protecting the rights of Arizona home purchasers.

The case involved an attempt by an Arizona home builder and seller to eliminate the buyer’s rights under the “implied warranty of workmanship and habitability.” After a lengthy legal dispute, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed that the implied warranty could not be “waived” by the buyer or “disclaimed” by the seller, even where the seller provided the buyer with a separate express warranty.

“We’re extremely proud of the result in the Arizona Supreme Court, after a several-year appeal process,” said Darrien Shuquem, Of Counsel at VF-Law. “This case was vitally important for protecting present and future Arizona homeowners. Prohibiting the efforts of home builders and sellers to eliminate the implied warranty will help guarantee that Arizona homeowners have adequate protection from defective construction of their homes, which for most people, is the biggest purchase they will make in their lifetime.”

In Arizona, an “implied warranty of workmanship and habitability” is owed by the builder and seller to the purchaser, protecting the purchaser from construction defects for eight years following completion of construction. In this case, the sellers attempted to eliminate this “implied warranty” by including language in the purchase contract, which purported to be a “waiver” or “disclaim” of the implied warranty.

The trial court enforced this contractual language, and therefore Mr. Shuquem appealed the decision on behalf of his homeowner client. The Court of Appeals overturned the trial court verdict, holding that the implied warranty may not be waived or disclaimed—even when the builder or seller provides a separate express warranty. The defendants petitioned the Arizona Supreme Court to review the decision. The Supreme Court expanded on the Court of Appeals’ ruling, affirming that implied warranty cannot be waived or disclaimed.

Nearly all modern residential purchase contracts include similar purported waivers and disclaimers of the implied warranty, placing home buyers at significant financial risk should their home be defectively constructed. This win is extremely important to present and future Arizona homeowners.

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