Sales – Contributory Negligence – Use as a Defense in Action for Breach of Implied Warranty

Defendant installed an oil burner in plaintiff’s apartment building. The burner failed to function properly and exploded two months after installation. There was no evidence that the furnace was repaired subsequent to the explosion. Plaintiff continued to use the furnace for four years until a second explosion caused considerable damage to the building. Upon inspection, the cause of the explosions was found to be a defective system of heating and piping the oil. Plaintiff brought this action for breach of implied warranty to install the furnace in a good and workmanlike manner and recovered consequential damages. On appeal, held, reversed. It was error to refuse to submit the issue of contributory negligence to the jury. In an action based on implied warranty, the contributory negligence of the buyer is a defense to a claim for consequential damages. Nelson v. Anderson, (Minn. 1955) 72 N.W. (2d) 861.