Matthews v. Lawnlite Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtTERRELL; DREW
Citation88 So.2d 299
Decision Date25 May 1956
PartiesGerald G. MATTHEWS, Appellant, v. LAWNLITE COMPANY, a corporation, Appellee.

Page 299

88 So.2d 299
Gerald G. MATTHEWS, Appellant,
v.
LAWNLITE COMPANY, a corporation, Appellee.
Supreme Court of Florida, Division A.
May 25, 1956.
Rehearing Denied July 5, 1956.

Page 300

Carey & Harrison, St. Petersburg, for appellant.

Arthur W. Primm, Miami, for appellee.

TERRELL, Justice.

Appellant was plaintiff and appellee was defendant below. In his second amended complaint plaintiff alleged that defendant was engaged in the business of manufacturing aluminum outdoor furniture and selling it to the public through retail merchants or distributors; that on or about March 27, 1954, defendant sold and delivered one or more pieces of such furniture to Dean's Tropical Furniture Shop, a retailer located in St. Petersburg, Florida; that on the date last mentioned plaintiff was in Dean's Tropical Furniture Shop examining furniture with the view of purchasing and sat in a lounge chair manufactured by defendant. 'As plaintiff sat in said chair he laid his right hand on the right hand arm rest of said chair and the third finger of said right hand extended over the front of the right hand arm rest and under the front end thereof. Thereupon his said third finger of his right hand was completely severed by the moving parts of said chair and the finger fell upon the floor.' A motion to dismiss the complaint was granted and this appeal was prosecuted from said order.

The point for determination is whether or not the manufacturer of lawn chairs is liable for injuries to a customer or potential purchaser inflicted on him when examining one of said chairs in the store of a retailer with the view of purchasing. The injury to said customer was caused from clipping off one of his fingers by a mechanism concealed under the arm of said chair.

Appellee contends that this question should be answered in the negative and supports its contention with Poretz v. R. H. Macy & Co., Inc., Sup., 119 N.Y.S.2d 211; Liedeker v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 249 App.Div. 835, 292 N.Y.S. 541; Id., 274 N.Y. 631, 10 N.E.2d 586, and similar cases. These cases have been examined and hold that there is no liability where the hazards complained of are apparent to the plaintiff; they also subscribe to the doctrine that the plaintiff can not recover for injury sustained as a result of his own careless and negligent conduct.

These cases also modify the early common law rule which inhibited recovery where there was absence of privity of contract. Huset v. J. I. Case Thrashing Mach. Co., 8 Cir., 120 F. 865, 61 L.R.A. 303; 86 A.L.R. 949; MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111...

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65 practice notes
  • Dayton Tire & Rubber Co. v. Davis, No. Z-378
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 29, 1977
    ...(See e. g. Favors v. Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, 309 So.2d Page 582 69 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975); and Matthews v. Lawnlite Company, 88 So.2d 299 (Fla.1956)) the law remains that the manufacturer and retailer have a strict duty to warn of a product's dangerous propensities only in those ins......
  • Gregory v. Cincinnati Inc., No. 98284
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • August 15, 1995
    ...held liable for failure to attach a point-of-manufacture warning to the product. Id. at 57, 143 N.W. 48. Accord Matthews v. Lawnlite Co., 88 So.2d 299 (Fla.1956). See also Noel, Manufacturer's negligence of design or directions for use of a product, 71 Yale L.J. 816, 820-822 (1962). However......
  • Nelson v. Union Wire Rope Corp., Gen. No. 48164
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • January 4, 1963
    ...it an absolute liability which runs with the chattel, eliminating the necessity of any kind of privity, citing Matthews v. Lawnlite Co., 88 So.2d 299 (Florida, 1956), and Carter v. Hector Supply Co., 128 So.2d 390 (Florida, [39 Ill.App.2d 98] Because of the view we take of the scope of such......
  • Nelson v. Union Wire Rope Corp., No. 37795
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • March 18, 1964
    ...v. Kesner (Fla.1958) 104 So.2d 1; Tampa Drug Co. v. Wait (Fla.1958), 103 So.2d 603, 75 A.L.R.2d 765; Matthews v. Lawnlite Co. (Fla.1958), 88 So.2d 299,) where the doctrine is stated in this manner: '(1) One who gratuitously renders services to another, * * * is subject to liability for bodi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
65 cases
  • Dayton Tire & Rubber Co. v. Davis, No. Z-378
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 29, 1977
    ...(See e. g. Favors v. Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, 309 So.2d Page 582 69 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975); and Matthews v. Lawnlite Company, 88 So.2d 299 (Fla.1956)) the law remains that the manufacturer and retailer have a strict duty to warn of a product's dangerous propensities only in those ins......
  • Gregory v. Cincinnati Inc., No. 98284
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • August 15, 1995
    ...held liable for failure to attach a point-of-manufacture warning to the product. Id. at 57, 143 N.W. 48. Accord Matthews v. Lawnlite Co., 88 So.2d 299 (Fla.1956). See also Noel, Manufacturer's negligence of design or directions for use of a product, 71 Yale L.J. 816, 820-822 (1962). However......
  • Nelson v. Union Wire Rope Corp., Gen. No. 48164
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • January 4, 1963
    ...it an absolute liability which runs with the chattel, eliminating the necessity of any kind of privity, citing Matthews v. Lawnlite Co., 88 So.2d 299 (Florida, 1956), and Carter v. Hector Supply Co., 128 So.2d 390 (Florida, [39 Ill.App.2d 98] Because of the view we take of the scope of such......
  • Nelson v. Union Wire Rope Corp., No. 37795
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • March 18, 1964
    ...v. Kesner (Fla.1958) 104 So.2d 1; Tampa Drug Co. v. Wait (Fla.1958), 103 So.2d 603, 75 A.L.R.2d 765; Matthews v. Lawnlite Co. (Fla.1958), 88 So.2d 299,) where the doctrine is stated in this manner: '(1) One who gratuitously renders services to another, * * * is subject to liability for bodi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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