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Industrial risks and Insurance

French legal action based on the warranty for hidden defects is limited in time

- Flash news

The French Supreme Court recalled in a judgment rendered on 11 December 2019, that the legal action based on the warranty for hidden defects must be brought to court not only within 2 years from the discovery of the defect, but also in accordance with the period applicable under the ordinary law, namely 5 years after the conclusion of the sale contract. This period is laid down in the French commercial code for obligations arising from commercial relationships between merchants.

In the past, buyers tried – sometimes successfully – to take legal action against the seller on the ground of the warranty for hidden defects, even years after the purchase, arguing that the legal period of 2 years only started with the discovery of the defect. With this jurisprudence, French sellers will be more protected – but not as protected as the German ones, who, except in some cases, are protected against any warranty claims once a period of 2 years after the delivery of movable goods expired.