Webster v. Blue Ship Tea Room, Inc. case brief summary
347 Mass. 421, 198 N.E.2d 309 (1964)
Defendant appealed a judgment for
plaintiff in the Superior Court of Suffolk (Massachusetts), in an
action to recover damages for personal injuries sustained by reason
of a breach of implied warranty related to food served in defendant's
CASE FACTS Plaintiff was injured when a fish bone
lodged in her throat while dining at defendant's restaurant.
Plaintiff brought suit alleging a breach of implied warranty under
the Uniform Commercial Code. The trial court found for plaintiff.
Defendant appealed and asserted that New England fish chowder is a
hearty dish and no chef should be asked to reduce the pieces of fish
to miniscule size in an effort to ascertain if they contained any
pieces of bone.
The court reviewed the history of fish chowder and
found no recipes that instructed the cook to ensure that the fish was
The court found no breach of implied warranty because a
restaurant customer such as plaintiff, eating fish chowder, should
have anticipated having to remove some fish bones from her bowl.
Therefore, the bone which injured plaintiff did not impair the fish
chowder's fitness or merchantability.
The court sustained defendant's
exceptions and entered judgment for defendant.
The court sustained defendant's exceptions and entered judgment
for defendant because the presence of a fish bone in a bowl of fish
chowder should have been anticipated and guarded against by plaintiff
and was not a breach of any implied warranty. Suggested law school study materials
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