Greenman v. Yuba Power Products case brief
Facts: Yuba manufactures a Shopsmith and demonstrated it in front of consumers, one of which was Greenman. Greenman watched the demo and read brochures prepared by Yuba and decided to purchase one. In 1957 he bought the necessary attachments to use the Shopsmith as a lathe; after working on a piece of wood for some time, it suddenly flew out of the machine and hit him on the head. 10 and a half months later he gave written notice of the suit. After a trial by jury, the court ruled that there was no evidence that retailer was negligent or breached any express warranty and that manufacturer was not liable for implied warranty. Only submitted to the jury the question of implied warranty against retailer and negligence and express warranty against the manufacturer. Retailer v. Plaintiff - Retailer and Manufacturer v. Plaintiff – Plaintiff.
Decision: Judgment affirmed
Reasoning: Plaintiff introduced good evidence that the manufacturer was negligent in making the Shopsmith. However, the manufacturer says that the plaintiff did not give notice of breach of warranty within a reasonable time and so that makes a breach of warranty void while the verdict was based on both warranty and negligence. Decided that the notice claim was wrong and no precedent supported it so said that even if he did not give timely notice of breach, the cause of action was still not barred.
Holding: To establish manufacturer’s liability it was enough that plaintiff proved injury while using it in the way it was intended to be used when that use ended up injuring him because of a defect in design and manufacture which the plaintiff was not aware of.
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