Sales – Implied Warranty – Privity of Contract As A Prerequisite to Recovery From Manufacturer

Plaintiff sustained injuries in the course of his employment when a defective abrasive wheel, while being used in its intended manner, exploded in his face. The abrasive wheel was purchased by plaintiff’s employer directly from the manufacturer. Plaintiff sought recovery from the manufacturer on two grounds: negligence in the manufacture of the abrasive wheel and breach of implied warranty for fitness of purpose. The negligence issue was submitted to the jury, which returned a verdict adverse to the plaintiff. The manufacturer’s demurrer to the cause of action based upon implied warranty was sustained by the trial court. On appeal from the ruling on the demurrer, held, reversed. A manufacturer is liable under an implied warranty for fitness of purpose not only to a purchaser but also to an employee of that purchaser who sustains injuries from the use of the defective chattel in the employer’s business. Peterson v. Lamb Rubber Co., 353 P.2d 575 (Cal. 1960).