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A Supplier Delivered Subpar Products—Is that a Breach of Contract?


Imagine that you enter into a contract with a supplier. The products arrive on-time and in the correct number as stipulated by the contact. However, upon inspection, you determine that the products are of unreasonably inferior quality. Can a supplier be held liable for breach of contract because of inferior products? The short answer is “yes”—but the specific circumstances of the case always matter. Here, our West Palm Beach business litigation attorney highlights key things to know.

Subpar Products Can Absolutely Constitute a Breach of Contract in Florida 

To start, it is important to clearly answer the question: Subpar products can absolutely constitute a breach of contract in Florida. When you buy something, you expect it to be as good as the seller promised/represented. In Florida, a supplier delivering products that are not up to standard may be liable for a breach of contract. A breach of contract happens when one party does not hold up their end of a deal. Some examples of seller product errors that could constitute a breach of contract include:

  • Products of poor quality;
  • Products being materially different than described
  • Products damaged upon arrival; and
  • Products not meeting contracted specifications.

 Specific Circumstances Always Matter: Quality of Products, Specifications of Contract, etc 

Breach of contract cases are highly fact-intensive. The reality is that every situation is unique. To figure out if there has been a breach of contract, you have to look closely at a few key things. First, what was the agreed quality of the products? If the contract said the items would meet certain standards or descriptions, and they do not, that could be a material breach that’s a problem. Next, check the specifications of the contract. This includes all the details about what was promised, delivery times, and conditions for accepting the goods. Ultimately, the specific nature of the products and the specific terms of the contract matter.

 It is Best to Start By Trying to Address the Problem With the Vendor Directly 

For companies in Florida, dealing with the delivery of subpar products from a supplier can be stressful and frustrating—especially so if your business is dealing with time-sensitive deadlines that it needs to meet. When you realize the products are subpar, the first step is generally to talk to the vendor directly. As soon as you notice the issue, let the supplier know. Describe what is wrong and provide evidence like photos or descriptions and refer to the contract. Ideally, you will be able to get the matter resolved. Though, if the supplier does not address the issue to your satisfaction, remember that you retain the right to escalate the matter through a breach of contract claim.

Contact Our West Palm Beach Commercial Litigators Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida business litigators have deep experience taking on breach of contract claims. If you have any questions about holding a supplier responsible for inferior products, we are more than ready to help. Contact our business law team today for a confidential consultation. We handle breach of contract cases throughout South Florida.

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