Most contractors who install products
called out in the drawings and
specifications assume that they are not
responsible if a specified item fails. This
assumption has its roots in a 1918 U.S.
Supreme Court case known as the Spearin
doctrine which, simply stated, determined
that in most cases a contractor's
agreement provides an implied warranty
only for the contractor's own work; manufacturers'
warranties are assigned to the
owner upon completion of the project. If
there is a problem with an item, the
owner contacts the manufacturer for service.
While this may create some PR
problems for the contractor, it frees him
from responsibility for repair or replacement
of an item he didn't build.
A recent federal appellate decision