Thomas v. Winchester

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Thomas v. Winchester, 6 N.Y. 397 (1852), [1] which established the "imminent danger to human life" doctrine, was at the head of the cases in assaulting the protective wall of privity in the tort field. Subsequent examples include: MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. , Goldberg v. Kollsman Instrument Corp. , and finally, Judge Jones's landmark holding in Codling v. Paglia , in which the Court demolished what was left of the privity barrier in tort cases by adopting the doctrine of strict products liability.

MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. 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.

In Thomas v. Winchester, the Court, departing from the old common law rule in Winterbottom v. Wright , held that a commercial packager of a poison falsely labeled as harmless medicine, who sold it to a druggist who, in turn, sold it to the plaintiff who then ingested it should be liable for her acute distress. The Court found a way around the lack of privity between the consumer and the packager by adopting the rule that a party who puts falsely labeled poison into the market and thus "puts human life in imminent danger" should respond in damages to the ultimate consumer.

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Product liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause. Although the word "product" has broad connotations, product liability as an area of law is traditionally limited to products in the form of tangible personal property.

A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act.

<i>Donoghue v Stevenson</i> landmark court decision in Scots delict law and English tort law by the House of Lords

Donoghue v Stevenson[1932] UKHL 100 was a landmark court decision in Scots delict law and English tort law by the House of Lords. It laid the foundation of the modern law of negligence, establishing general principles of the duty of care.

Caveat emptor is Latin for "Let the buyer beware". Generally, caveat emptor is the contract law principle that controls the sale of real property after the date of closing, but may also apply to sales of other goods. The phrase caveat emptor and its use as a disclaimer of warranties arise from the fact that buyers typically have less information than the seller about the good or service they are purchasing. The quality of this situation is known as 'information asymmetry'. Defects in the good or service may be hidden from the buyer, and only known to the seller.

Privity of contract

The doctrine of privity of contract is a common law principle which provides that a contract cannot confer rights or impose obligations upon any person who is not a party to the contract.

In tort law, a duty of care is a legal obligation which is imposed on an individual requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others. It is the first element that must be established to proceed with an action in negligence. The claimant must be able to show a duty of care imposed by law which the defendant has breached. In turn, breaching a duty may subject an individual to liability. The duty of care may be imposed by operation of law between individuals who have no current direct relationship but eventually become related in some manner, as defined by common law.

The attractive nuisance doctrine applies to the law of torts, in the United States. It states that a landowner may be held liable for injuries to children trespassing on the land if the injury is caused by an object on the land that is likely to attract children. The doctrine is designed to protect children who are unable to appreciate the risk posed by the object, by imposing a liability on the landowner. The doctrine has been applied to hold landowners liable for injuries caused by abandoned cars, piles of lumber or sand, trampolines, and swimming pools. However, it can be applied to virtually anything on the property of the landowner.

The last clear chance is a doctrine in the law of torts that is employed in contributory negligence jurisdictions. Under this doctrine, a negligent plaintiff can nonetheless recover if he is able to show that the defendant had the last opportunity to avoid the accident. Though the stated rationale has differed depending on the court adopting the doctrine, the underlying idea is to mitigate the harshness of the contributory negligence rule. The defendant can also use this doctrine as a defense. If the plaintiff has the last clear chance to avoid the accident, the defendant will not be liable.

<i>Winterbottom v Wright</i>

Winterbottom v Wright (1842) 10 M&W 109 was an important case in English common law responsible for constraining the law's stance on negligence in the 19th century.

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<i>Ultramares Corp. v. Touche</i>

Ultramares Corporation v. Touche, 174 N.E. 441 (1932) is a US tort law case regarding negligent misstatement, decided by Cardozo, C.J. It contained the now famous line on "floodgates" that the law should not admit "to a liability in an indeterminate amount for an indeterminate time to an indeterminate class."

<i>Chysky v. Drake Bros. Co.</i>

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Privity is a doctrine in English contract law that covers the relationship between parties to a contract and other parties or agents. At its most basic level, the rule is that a contract can neither give rights to, nor impose obligations on, anyone who is not a party to the original agreement, i.e. a "third party". Historically, third parties could enforce the terms of a contract, as evidenced in Provender v Wood, but the law changed in a series of cases in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the most well known of which are Tweddle v Atkinson in 1861 and Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre v Selfridge and Co Ltd in 1915.

Privacy in English law is a rapidly developing area of English law that considers in what situations an individual has a legal right to informational privacy - the protection of personal or private information from misuse or unauthorised disclosure. Privacy law is distinct from those laws such as trespass or assault that are designed to protect physical privacy. Such laws are generally considered as part of criminal law or the law of tort. Historically, English common law has recognised no general right or tort of privacy, and was offered only limited protection through the doctrine of breach of confidence and a "piecemeal" collection of related legislation on topics like harassment and data protection. The introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998 incorporated into English law the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 8.1 of the ECHR provided an explicit right to respect for a private life. The Convention also requires the judiciary to "have regard" to the Convention in developing the common law.

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<i>Devlin v. Smith</i>

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Eggshell skull legal doctrine

The eggshell rule is a well-established legal doctrine in common law, used in some tort law systems, with a similar doctrine applicable to criminal law. The rule states that, in a tort case, the unexpected frailty of the injured person is not a valid defense to the seriousness of any injury caused to them.

Imminent peril, or imminent danger, is an American legal concept where Imminent peril is "certain danger, immediate, and impending; menacingly close at hand, and threatening." In many states in the USA, a mere necessity for quick action does not constitute an emergency within the doctrine of imminent peril, where the situation calling for the action is one which should reasonably have been anticipated and which the person whose action is called for should have been prepared to meet; the doctrine of imminent peril does not excuse one who has brought about the peril by her own negligence.