Victor Goldberg, ‘The MacPhersonHenningsen Puzzle’

In the landmark case of MacPherson v Buick, an automobile company was held liable for negligence notwithstanding a lack of privity with the injured driver. Four decades later, in Henningsen v Bloomfield Motors, the court held unconscionable the standard automobile company warranty which limited its responsibility to repair and replacement, even in a case involving physical injury. This suggests a puzzle: if it were so easy for firms to contract out of liability, did MacPherson accomplish anything?

Goldberg, Victor P, The MacPherson-Henningsen Puzzle (August 8, 2017). Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper No 570.

First posted 2017-08-22 06:52:46

Leave a Reply