The Contractual Aspect of Consumer Protection: Recent Developments in the Law of Sales Warranties

As might have been expected, the courts have not confined their efforts in updating the law of products liability to fostering innovations in that segment dealing with warranties. The struggle to impose strict tort liability upon a manufacturer for harm caused by his defective products has made significant advances and is continuing: However, the citadel has yet to be taken. Indeed, even the California Supreme Court, which may be considered the leading proponent of this strict tort theory, has limited its availability so that only those seeking redress for harm to person or property may invoke the doctrine; thus, a plaintiff hoping to recover for a purely economic loss is restricted to an action for breach of warranty. It thus appears that the warranty theory will continue to play a major role in consumer protection. This Comment will treat some of the more recent developments relating to the warranty theory, of which perhaps the most significant are the changes wrought by the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been adopted by the legislatures in an overwhelming majority of American jurisdictions.