Plaintiff was injured when a shotgun, fired by another, exploded. The explosion was allegedly caused by a defective shotgun shell, purchased by the shooter. Plaintiff brought a personal injury action against the manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer of the shell, alleging separate counts of negligence and breach of implied warranty. With reference to the latter count, plaintiff contended that the shell was not suitable for its intended use, and that, even though he was neither the purchaser nor the user of the shell, he was entitled to rely upon the implied warranty of fitness and suitability which attended the manufacture, distribution, and sale of the product. The trial court dismissed the implied warranty count for want of privity of contract between plaintiff and defendants. On appeal, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed. Held: Lack of privity is no defense to a personal injury action brought by an innocent bystander on the theory of breach of implied warranty; it is sufficient that plaintiff allege and prove a defect of manufacture and the causal connection between the defect and the injury suffered. Piercefield v. Remington Arms Co., 375 Mich. 85, 133 N.W.2d 129 (1965).
Products Liability—Innocent Bystander Enjoys Protection of Implied Warranty,
Wash. L. & Rev.
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