Lebourdais v. Vitrified Wheel Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtBRALEY
Citation80 N.E. 482,194 Mass. 341
Decision Date28 February 1907
PartiesLEBOURDAIS v. VITRIFIED WHEEL CO.

194 Mass. 341
80 N.E. 482

LEBOURDAIS
v.
VITRIFIED WHEEL CO.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex.

Feb. 28, 1907.


Appeal from Superior Court, Middlesex County.

Action by Emil Lebourdais against the Vitrified Wheel Company. From an order sustaining a demurrer to the declaration, plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.

This is an action for personal injuries sustained by plaintiff in consequence of the bursting of an emery wheel made by defendant and bought by plaintiff's employer in the open market.


Charles [194 Mass. 342]J. Martell, for appellant.

W. C. Cogswell, for appellee.


[194 Mass. 343]BRALEY, J.

The manufacturer of an article of merchandise which he puts upon the market ordinarily is not responsible in damages to those who may receive injuries caused by its defective construction, but to whom he sustains no contractual relations, although by the exercise of reasonable diligence he should have known of the defect. If such an extended liability attached where no privity of contract exists it would include all persons however remote who had been damaged either in person or property by his carelessness, and manufacturers as a class

[80 N.E. 483]

would be exposed to such far-reaching consequences as to seriously embarrass the general prosecution of mercantile business. In the usual course of trade upon making a sale, as the article passes from the control or ownership of the maker it is held that when these cease his liability also should be considered as ended. Davidson v. Nichols, 11 Allen, 514;Clifford v. Atlantic Cotton Mills, 146 Mass. 47, 48, 15 N. E. 84,4 Am. St. Rep. 279;Glynn v. Central Railroad Co., 175 Mass. 510, 512, 56 N. E. 698,78 Am. St. Rep. 507. But where by reason of its nature the article sold is commonly recognized as intrinsically dangerous to life or property among which gunpowder, nitroglycerin, and other highly explosive compounds, naphtha, and poisonous drugs are some familiar examples, if the seller without notice of their dangerous or noxious qualities delivers them to a customer or to a carrier who is ignorant of these properties he is liable not only to him, but to others to whom while in the exercise of reasonable care they are the proximate cause of injury. Davidson v. Nichols, ubi supra; Carter v. Towne, 98 Mass. 567, 96 Am. Dec. 682;Wellington v. Downer Kerosene Oil Co., 104 Mass. 64;Norton v. Sewall, 106 Mass. 143, 8 Am. Rep. 298;Boston & Albany R. R. Co. v. Shanly, 107 Mass. 568;Turner v. Page, 186 Mass. 600, ...

To continue reading

Request your trial
41 practice notes
  • Pelletier v. Dupont
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • March 3, 1925
    ...§ 244; Williston on Contracts, vol. 2. § 998; Davidson v. Nichols et al., II Allen (Mass.) 514, 517; Lebourdais v. Vitrified Wheel Co., 194 Mass. 341, 80 N. E. 482; Roberts v. Anheuser Busch Brewing Co., 211 Mass. 449, 451, 98 N. E. 95; Gearing v. Berkson, 223 Mass. 257, III N. E. 785, L. R......
  • Guinan v. Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 6, 1929
    ...to third persons with whom he has no contractual relations. Davidson v. Nichols, 11 Allen, 514, 518;Lebourdais v. Vitrified Wheel Co., 194 Mass. 341, 343, 80 N. E. 482;Pitman v. Lynn Gas & Electric Co., 241 Mass. 322, 323, 135 N. E. 223;Christensen v. Bremer, 263 Mass. 129, 160 N. E. 410. I......
  • Carter v. Yardley & Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 17, 1946
    ...drugs. Thomas v. Winchester, 6 N.Y. 397, 57 Am.Dec. 455;Norton v. Sewall, 106 Mass. 143, 8 Am.Rep. 298;Lebourdais v. Vitrified Wheel Co., 194 Mass. 341, 343, 80 N.E. 482;Thornhill v. Carpenter-Morton Co., 220 Mass. 593, 108 N.E. 474;Windram Mfg. Co. v. Boston Blacking Co., 239 Mass. 123, 13......
  • Carter v. Yardley & Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 17, 1946
    ...substances, and poisonous drugs. Thomas v. Winchester, 6 N.Y. 397. Norton v. Sewall, 106 Mass. 143 . Lebourdais v. Vitrified Wheel Co. 194 Mass. 341 , 343. Thornhill v. Carpenter-Morton Co. 220 Mass. 593 . Windram Manuf. Co. v. Boston Blacking Co. 239 Mass. 123 . Tompkins v. Quaker Oats Co.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • Pelletier v. Dupont
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • March 3, 1925
    ...§ 244; Williston on Contracts, vol. 2. § 998; Davidson v. Nichols et al., II Allen (Mass.) 514, 517; Lebourdais v. Vitrified Wheel Co., 194 Mass. 341, 80 N. E. 482; Roberts v. Anheuser Busch Brewing Co., 211 Mass. 449, 451, 98 N. E. 95; Gearing v. Berkson, 223 Mass. 257, III N. E. 785, L. R......
  • Guinan v. Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 6, 1929
    ...to third persons with whom he has no contractual relations. Davidson v. Nichols, 11 Allen, 514, 518;Lebourdais v. Vitrified Wheel Co., 194 Mass. 341, 343, 80 N. E. 482;Pitman v. Lynn Gas & Electric Co., 241 Mass. 322, 323, 135 N. E. 223;Christensen v. Bremer, 263 Mass. 129, 160 N. E. 410. I......
  • Carter v. Yardley & Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 17, 1946
    ...drugs. Thomas v. Winchester, 6 N.Y. 397, 57 Am.Dec. 455;Norton v. Sewall, 106 Mass. 143, 8 Am.Rep. 298;Lebourdais v. Vitrified Wheel Co., 194 Mass. 341, 343, 80 N.E. 482;Thornhill v. Carpenter-Morton Co., 220 Mass. 593, 108 N.E. 474;Windram Mfg. Co. v. Boston Blacking Co., 239 Mass. 123, 13......
  • Carter v. Yardley & Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 17, 1946
    ...substances, and poisonous drugs. Thomas v. Winchester, 6 N.Y. 397. Norton v. Sewall, 106 Mass. 143 . Lebourdais v. Vitrified Wheel Co. 194 Mass. 341 , 343. Thornhill v. Carpenter-Morton Co. 220 Mass. 593 . Windram Manuf. Co. v. Boston Blacking Co. 239 Mass. 123 . Tompkins v. Quaker Oats Co.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT