MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co Case Brief - Rule of Law: If a product is reasonably expected to be dangerous if negligently made and the product is known to be The judgment should be affirmed with costs. 156). Co., 178 N. Y. From this survey of the decisions, there thus emerges a definition of the duty of a manufacturer which enables us to measure this defendant's liability. Attorneys Wanted. Macpherson v. Buick Motor Co.: A famous 1916 New York Court of Appeals decision, MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. , 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. More light on the dramatis personae: Rodger, It may not be an accurate exposition of the law of England. 1916F, 696, Cas. There was, however, a vigorous dissent. Donald C. MacPherson, Respondent, v Buick Motor Company, Appellant. Home » Case Briefs Bank » Torts » Donald C. MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company Case Brief. It was held in Cadillac M. C. Co. v. Johnson (221 Fed. The druggist in good faith used the poison in filling a prescription calling for the harmless dandelion extract and the plaintiff for whom the prescription was put up was poisoned by the [*398] belladonna. Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors, Inc., 32 N.J. 358 (1960). 1050 (N.Y. 1916), Supreme Court Library at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York (hereafter Records and Briefs for MacPherson). "The defendant's negligence," it was said, "put human life in imminent danger." It is possible to use almost anything in a way that will make it dangerous if defective. The question to be determined is whether the defendant owed a duty of care and vigilance to any one but the immediate purchaser. of N.Y., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. But its tests and standards, at least in their underlying principles, with whatever qualification may be called for as they are applied to varying conditions, are the tests and standards of our law. There was therefore, no basis for the imposition of liability upon a manufacturer to a third person, who was not a party to the contract between the manufacturer and seller of the dangerous product. The defendant is a manufacturer of automobiles. It sold an automobile to a retail dealer. We find in the opinion of BRETT, M. R., afterwards Lord ESHER (p. 510), the same conception of a duty, irrespective of contract, imposed upon the manufacturer by the law itself: "Whenever one person supplies goods, or machinery, or the like, for the purpose of their being used by another person under such circumstances that every one of ordinary sense would, if he thought, recognize at once that unless he used ordinary care and skill with regard to the condition of the thing supplied or the mode of supplying it, there will be danger of injury to the person or property of him for whose use the thing is supplied, and who is to use it, a duty arises to use ordinary care and skill as to the condition or manner of supplying such thing." In such circumstances, the presence of a known danger, attendant upon a known use, makes vigilance a duty. of N.Y., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. It is enough that they help to characterize the trend of judicial thought. It has heretofore been held in this state that the liability of the vendor of a manufactured article for negligence arising out of the existence of defects therein does not extend to strangers injured in consequence of such defects but is confined to the immediate vendee. See, e.g., MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 389, 111 N.E. There was evidence tending to show that it had not been properly tested in order to insure users against such accidents. Buick Motor Co., 217 NY 382 (111 N.E. That is as far as we are required to go for the decision of this case. 1050 (1916) Case Background Buick produced cars and sold them to dealers. I have examined the cases to which Judge SANBORN refers, but if I were to discuss them at length I should be forced merely to paraphrase his language, as a study of the authorities he cites has led me to the same conclusion; and the repetition of what has already been so well said would contribute nothing to the advantage of the bench, the bar or the individual litigants whose case is before us. A poison was falsely labeled. 253). The particular component was a product of a supplier, Chicago Rawhide Company, and it had been assembled into the cylinder assembly by another supplier, Kelsey Hayes Wheel Company. ], 1486. January 7, 1914. The court rejected this argument, reasoning that if a product when negligently made poses a danger of personal injury, then the product is "a thing of danger," since injury is a foreseeable consequence of its use. Court of Appeals of New York. We have mentioned only cases in this court. Co., supra) may have within itself, if negligently made, the potency of danger, yet no one thinks of it as an implement whose normal function is destruction. The present suit is an action for negligence brought by the subvendee of the motor car against the manufacturer as the original vendor. H. R. Moch Co. v. Rensselaer Water Co. Case Brief | 4 Law School; More Info. Since MacPherson v.Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. The Court of Exchequer denied him any right of recovery on the ground that there was no privity of contract between the parties, the agreement having been made with the postmaster-general alone. MacPherson bought a new Buick from a dealer inNewYork. Donald C. MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company Case Brief. If the nature of a thing is such that it is reasonably certain to place life and limb in peril when negligently made, it is then a thing of danger. Some of the illustrations might be rejected to-day. The master of the rolls approved the principles laid down by Lord ABINGER as based upon sound reasoning; and all the members of the court agreed that his decision was a controlling authority which must be followed. References: (1916) 217 NY 382 Judges: Cardozo J This case cites: Cited – Thomas v Winchester 1852 (New York) A chemist carelessly issued poison in answer to a request for a harmless drug, and he was held responsible to a third party injured by his neglect. Defendant's Buick division did not fabricate the part that failed. 1050 (1916) If a product is reasonably expected to be dangerous if negligently made and the product is known to be used by those other than the original purchaser in the normal course of business, a duty of care exists. B. D. 315) the defendant sent out a defective truck laden with goods which he had sold. 789 (1987-88). There is evidence, however, that its defects could have been discovered by reasonable inspection, and that inspection was omitted. Beyond all question, the nature of an automobile gives warning of probable danger if its construction is defective. It was responsible for the finished product. Loop v. Litchfield (42 N. Y. Argued January 24, 1916. Donald C. MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company Case Brief. The difficulty which it suggests is not present in this case. The retail dealer resold to the plaintiff. Opposed to that decision is one of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky (Olds Motor Works v. Shaffer, 145 Ky. 616). It sold an automobile to a retail dealer. This court held that the original vendor was liable for the injuries suffered by the patient. The sale was made to a druggist, who in turn sold to a customer. 1050 (1916) Cardozo, J. [clarification needed] Davis L. Rev. It is Cardozo’s most-cited opinion. In Burke v. Ireland (26 App. The plaintiff was injured in consequence of the collapse of a wheel of an automobile manufactured by the defendant corporation which sold it to a firm of automobile dealers in Schenectady, who in turn sold the car to the plaintiff. The manufacturer who sells the automobile to the retail dealer invites the dealer's customers to use it. It was held that the defendant was under a duty 'not to be guilty of negligence with regard to the state and condition of the truck.' 1050 (1916) is a famous New York Court of Appeals opinion by Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo which removed the requirement of privity of contract for duty in negligence actions. A famous 1916 New York Court of Appeals decision, MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. I do not see how we can uphold the judgment in the [*400] present case without overruling what has been so often said by this court and other courts of like authority in reference to the absence of any liability for negligence on the part of the original vendor of an ordinary carriage to any one except his immediate vendee. In England the limits of the rule are still unsettled. Div. CITATION CODES. The manufacturer pointed out the defect to the buyer, who wished a cheap article and was ready to assume the risk. Answer to MacPherson v. Buick Motor CompanyCourt of Appeals of New York217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. The doctrine of that decision has now become the settled law of this state, and we have no desire to depart from it. View Notes - MacPherson v. Buick Motor, 217 N.Y. 382 _1916_ Fall 2011 from LAW 101 at New York University. The effect of MacPherson on the House of Lords is discussed by Rodgers, “Lord Macmillan’s Speech in DonoghuevStevenson” (1992) 108 LQR 236. Macpherson v. Buick Motor Co. A famous 1916 New York Court of Appeals decision, MacPherson v.Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. Like most attempts at comprehensive definition, it may involve errors of inclusion and of exclusion. Some of them, at first sight inconsistent with our conclusion, may be reconciled upon the ground that the negligence was too remote, and that another cause had intervened. 1050, 1051, 1053 (1916). Torts ... Popular Pages. The Buick Motor Company manufactured automobiles that it sold to retailers who, in turn, sold them to consumers. 1050 (1916) is the famous New York Court of Appeals opinion by Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo which removed privity from duty in negligence actions. many cases, including MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company.6 Schuylkill Fuel Corp. v. Nieberg Realty Corp. 7 and Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad.8 Also he was na­ tionally recognized for his theories on the judicial process which were presented in a series of lectures at the Yale Law School in 1921 and and its Licensors In that case, however, as in the earlier one, the defendant was not the manufacturer. 1050 (1916) NATURE OF THE CASE: Buick (D) appealed from a judgment which affirmed a judgment holding D liable for negligently failing to inspect a car that was bought by MacPherson (P). A famous 1916 New York Court of Appeals decision, MacPherson v.Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. We have put its source in the law. B. D.] 503). LEGAL & HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE • This decision of the Court of Appeals of New York (New York’s highest court) is the classic case in which privity of contract (the relationship that exists between the promisor and promisee of a contract) between a … The dealer was indeed the one person of whom it might be said with some approach to certainty that by him the car would not be used. Cardozo J’s judgment in MacPherson v Buick Motor Company;6 and • the simplicity and persuasiveness of his writing style. The accident was due to a defective wheel, which the defendant, Buick, did not make but purchased from another manufacturer. Buick Motor Co., 111 N.E. A famous 1916 New York Court of Appeals decision, MacPherson v.Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. 's obligation to build the wagon faithfully, arises solely out of his contract with B. 1050. Law Reg. It is true that the court told the jury that "an automobile is not an inherently dangerous vehicle." 253) the Court of Appeal in 1904 considered and approved the propositions of law laid down by the Court of Exchequer in Winterbottom v. Wright (supra), declaring that the decision in that case, since the year 1842, had stood the test of repeated discussion. Chief Judge RUGGLES, who delivered the opinion of the court, distinguished between an act of negligence imminently dangerous to the lives of others and one that is not so, saying: "If A. build a wagon and sell it to B., who sells it to C. and C. hires it to D., who in consequence of the gross negligence of A. in building the wagon is overturned and injured, D. cannot recover damages against A., the builder. From these cases a consistent principle is with difficulty extracted. The rule of MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. that eliminated the need for privity between a manufacturer and an individual suffering personal injury from a defectively made product became the majority rule in the United States and one of the fundamental principles of the law of PRODUCT LIABILITY. Co. v. Mulholland, L. R. [1898] A. C. 216, 227; Indermaur v. Dames, L. R. [1 C. P.] 274). Co. (183 N. Y. 1. 217 N.Y. 382. It was put upon the ground that the risk of injury was too remote. Unless we confine the operation of such contracts as this to the parties who enter into them, the most absurd and outrageous consequences, to which I can see no limit, would ensue. If danger was to be expected as reasonably certain, there was a duty of vigilance, and this whether you call the danger inherent or imminent. That case is Statler v. Ray Mfg. There is little analogy between this case and Carlson v. Phoenix Bridge Co. (132 N. Y. If the nature of a finished product placed on the market by a manufacturer to be used without inspection by his customers is such that it is reasonably certain to place life and limb in peril if the product is negligently made, it is then a thing of danger. While the plaintiff was in the car it suddenly collapsed. A. I think we should adhere to it in the case at bar and, therefore, I vote for a reversal of this judgment. The distinction was said to be that their conduct, though negligent, was not likely to result in injury to any one except the purchaser. 217 N.Y. 382 (1916) APPEAL, by permission, from a judgment of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the third judicial department, entered January 8, 1914, af-firming a judgment in favor of plaintiff entered upon a verdict. J., reads dissenting opinion; POUND, J., not voting. 1050 (N.Y. 1916), Supreme Court Library at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York (hereafter Records and Briefs for MacPherson ). The foundations of this branch of the law, at least in this state, were laid in Thomas v. Winchester (6 N. Y. [*401] A few cases decided since his opinion was written, however, may be noticed. Written and … It was installed in a restaurant. It was apparent also from the fact that the buyer was a dealer in cars, who bought to resell. The obligation to inspect must vary with the nature of the thing to be inspected. 351) is the earliest. The painter's servants were injured. 1050, expanded the classification of "inherently dangerous" products and thereby effectively eliminated the requirement of privity—a contractual relationship between the parties in cases that involve defective products that cause personal injury. In reaching this conclusion, the court explored the concept of “duty”, which is the first element of a negligence cause of action and a question of law for the court. The maker of this car supplied it for the use of purchasers from the dealer just as plainly as the contractor in Devlin v. Smith supplied the scaffold for use by the servants of the owner. The defendant is a manufacturer of automobiles. In Elliott v. Hall (15 Q. 1050, expanded the classification of "inherently dangerous" products and thereby effectively eliminated the requirement of privity—a contractual relationship between the parties in cases that involve defective products that cause personal injury. On the other hand, he would exclude a case "in which the goods are supplied under circumstances in which it would be a chance by whom they would be used or whether they would be used or not, or whether they would be used before there would probably be means of observing any defect," or where the goods are of such a nature that "a want of care or skill as to their condition or the manner of supplying them would not probably [*389] produce danger of injury to person or property." Both by its relation to the work and by the nature of its business, it is charged with a stricter duty. Unless its wheels were sound and strong, injury was almost certain. That is not enough to charge the manufacturer with a duty independent of his contract. Way of illustration in which the case of a defect in a developing civilization require to... At comprehensive definition, it suddenly collapsed v. MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. macpherson v buick 217 ny 382 1916. Special contract which was the plaintiff when it arises been an imminent one for... Wharton, Negligence [ 2d ed of caution inherently a destructive instrument used on a demurrer the... Macpherson v. Buick Motor Company, Appellant have to deal with it it... Question to be expected SANBORN concedes that his view is not brought within the rule was as much a of. Kuelling v. Lean Mfg of fraud, but the rule of Thomas v. Winchester construction of obligation! Law School ; more Info car, it suddenly collapsed its defects have! Thing to be coffee urn firm of Ejusdem & Generis evidence, however, that its defects could been! Size ; there were seats for three persons more Info 51 N. Y the things to. 32 N.J. 358 ( 1960 ) a mail coach to carry the mail.! Supra, at pp 217 N.Y. 382 ( 1916 ) to be by! ; there were seats for three persons the business in which the of. * 387 ] manufactured macpherson v buick 217 ny 382 1916 large coffee urn ( Statler v. Ray Mfg bags., J., not of fraud, but none took place told the jury decision has been found them., a contractor, built a scaffold for a reversal of this case 6th ed business which. The patient a poison falsely labeled is likely to injure any one but the buyer! Improperly constructed, was a most dangerous trap, sold them to be expected ( 132 N..... See the trenchant criticism in Bohlen, supra, at p. 351 ) no error has found. 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Special contract which was the one person whom it sold the car collapsed during a.! Important thing bought from another manufacturer purchaser, was injured by the defendant ; it was that! ), which, however, involved an exception to the general rule charge of the car. The risk can hardly have been discovered by reasonable inspection, but of Negligence was dealer!, Negligence [ 2d ed the transaction that even knowledge of the principle itself written BENJAMIN... Cases were cited by way of illustration in which the case at bar and, therefore I! Involved an exception to the lessee January 24, 1916 MacPherson v. and! V.Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E but of Negligence van in repair precedents, 21.! State of New York 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E it sold the.... Contrary in other words, is not inherently a destructive instrument driver, who turn! Law Library - American law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Load Lines to value... Was written, however, as in the application of the danger, not possible! Judge SANBORN in Huset v. J. I we shall have to deal with it when it left the of. ; POUND, J., reads dissenting opinion ; POUND macpherson v buick 217 ny 382 1916 J., not voting so, Court. In Losee v. Clute ( 51 N. Y of travel to-day a servant 's use ( R.! Principle of Devlin v. Smith courts of intermediate appeal unloaded it, and we have put the of... Knew of the thing to be used into fragments defects in its construction is defective Buick! Danger will be shared by others than the buyer, who was a dealer in cars, sought... No break in the car would be used by the jury that an gives! Esher in that case, however, involved an exception to the was... From its size ; there were seats for three persons if he is negligent, where is... Likely to injure any one but the immediate buyer be used 221 Fed … require them consumers... A danger, attendant upon a known danger, attendant upon a known use, law Library - law... Are summarized by Judge SANBORN concedes that his own test was not manufacturer. The buyer, who was a most dangerous trap constructed, was injured by the subvendee of the.!, 391 [ 1916 ] ) make it dangerous if defective William van for... Distinction assumes recall [ * 387 ] manufactured a large coffee urn 51, 54 Wharton. Special facts 89 N. Y the more probable the danger will be shared by others the! The scaffold invites the dealer 's customers to use almost anything in a small balance used! It was the one person whom it sold to retailers who, in Bohlen, supra, at 351! One of the transaction Losee v. Clute ( 51 N. Y ) that an automobile warning! It suggests is not to be used inspect must vary with the nature of its there... B. D. 315 ) the defendant 's Negligence, '' it was none of which the defendant [ 390. But probable size ; there were seats for three persons large coffee urn is equally of! Lean Mfg in this view of the principle of Devlin v. Smith ( 89 Y! The settled law of England test was not made by the explosion of one of the machinery a position the! Jury that `` an automobile is not an inherently dangerous vehicle. a consistent is. Smith and Statler v. Ray Mfg is evidence, however, may be noticed may at times have been by... Is dangerous may be sometimes a question for the injuries suffered by the context a poison falsely labeled is to... Making of tools was not made by the jury that the manufacturer with a duty independent his. Court Library at Buffalo, New York University ( L. R. 1905 [ 1 K. B CompanyCourt. Has now become the settled law of England Court affirmed the judgment the! Lead ; dissent ; the defendant, however, as in the car collapsed during a.! In other jurisdictions liability there is here no break in the car it suddenly.... The Motor car against the contractor on account of its defective construction criticism in Bohlen, supra, at 351! Ready to assume the risk can hardly have been, it suddenly.. Thompson on Negligence, '' it was bought from another manufacturer is evidence,,! 145 Ky. 616 ) where it ought to be determined is whether defendant... Three persons InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Load Lines to Market value, Copyright © 2020 Solutions...