Implied Warranty of Plans and Specifications

Journal of Insurance and Indemnity Law, Volume 8, No. 1, pp. 8-9, January 2015

2 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2015

Date Written: December 20, 2014

Abstract

The obligee, typically an owner or general contractor owes duties to the contractor or subcontractor to provide accurate plans for the work in accordance with the terms of the contract. The general proposition is well settled that an owner by implication warrants the accuracy of plans and specifications provided to a contractor for the performance of the work. The owner's warranty of the adequacy of the plans is referred to as the Spearin Doctrine. This doctrine is derived from the seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision in the United States v. Spearin.

The Spearin Doctrine is alive and well and applies to private as well as public construction contracts.

A breach by an owner or general contractor of its duty to provide accurate plans and specifications to a contractor is a defense to the surety called upon to perform contract work after the termination of the principal's contract. The materiality of a breach turns on the unique facts of each case.

Keywords: Spearin Doctrine, General Contractor, Obligee, Warranties, Change Orders

Suggested Citation

Johnson, James A., Implied Warranty of Plans and Specifications (December 20, 2014). Journal of Insurance and Indemnity Law, Volume 8, No. 1, pp. 8-9, January 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2561341

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