MacPherson v. Buick
Plaintiff, Donald C. MacPherson, bought an automobile from a dealership in 1916. While MacPherson was driving his car, it suddenly collapsed and he was thrown out of the car and injured. Investigations found that one of the wheels was made from a defected wood. The defendant was given the wheel from another manufacturer. Buick Motors Co. then gave the dealership who eventually sold the automobile to MacPherson.
Buick Motors Co. was charged for negligence, and not fraud, because if the car had been properly inspected, the manufacturer would have found the defect and fixed it. The case debated whether or not that Buick Motors Co. owed a “duty of care” to its immediate buyer, the dealership.
The case referred to a similar lawsuit, Thomas v. Winchester. A manufacturer falsely labeled a poison that was sold to a pharmacy, which sold the drug to the customer. The customer, who read the label that the drug was harmless, was hurt after taking it. The manufacturer was responsible for covering damages for the customer due to the fact that they put the customer in “imminent danger.”
Buick Motors Co. must inspect their products before putting it on the market. Their failure to inspect the wooden tire that was purchased from a different manufacturer led to a consumer getting an injury after the wheel collapsed. The company did not know that the wheel had a defect, instead, they simply just did not inspect the wheel, causing negligence.