The Reciprocal of MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company
Journal of Tort Law, Vol.9, p. 5, 2016
39 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2019
Date Written: 2016
MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company won fame for taking down a privity barrier that stood between consumers and manufacturers of products that cause injury. Privity had offered liability-shelter to remote vendors; MacPherson destroyed that shelter when it held that nonprivy vendees have an entitlement to care and vigilance. In this relation of mutually constituted security and danger, privity and MacPherson are each the other’s reciprocal. This article, written to celebrate the centenary of a great decision, explores the reciprocity path that MacPherson helped to build by considering instances of law-mandated care and vigilance that came after it. Broadly worded obligations as provisioned in MacPherson function to support, or at least are consistent with, entitlements and shelters that business entities now receive from American consumers.
Keywords: MacPherson, automobile, products liability, tort, bailout, recession, consumer, tort reform, liability, privity
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