MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company
This case overviews MacPherson who bought a Buick who had a faulty wheel that collapsed, causing an accident that injured MacPherson. Buick had not manufactured the wheels but had contracted a manufacturer to make wheels for them. MacPhereson sued Buick for the accident. The lower and higher courts agreed that Buick was responsible for the defect. While it had not manufactured the wheels themselves, Buick was responsible for the final product that made it to consumers since it was Buick's responsibility to test and inspect the wheels to ensure that they were safe and therefore, is negligent. 1. The court held Buick liable in tort for negligence in manufacturing a product with a danger. Buick argued that it should not be liable because it did not make the wheels. Why not make the injured party sue the producer of the defective part? In today's economic market, companies rarely produce all the products or parts necessary to manufacture their finished products. However, when the final product hits the market, the manufacturer is responsible for the final product. The producer of the defective part had a responsibility to inspect their product before sale to its customer Buick. In turn, it was Buick's responsibility to inspect the product for defect before sale to the dealerships who in turn would sell to the ultimate purchasers in general public. Since automobiles are inherently dangerous, a duty of care is owed to the ultimate purchasers. 2. Buick argued that this was the only wheel out of 60,000 sold that had been shown defective. Should 1/60,000 be sufficient to establish negligence? With the set of circumstances that exist in this case, if Buick was able to show that it had taken reasonable care to ensure that the wheels were safe, perhaps an external factor out of Buick's control could have been looked for. In this case, because Buick did not in any way ensure the safety of the wheels, even if it was 1/60,000,...
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