Pitman v. Lynn Gas & Elec. Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtCARROLL
Citation241 Mass. 322,135 N.E. 223
PartiesPITMAN v. LYNN GAS & ELECTRIC CO.
Decision Date01 May 1922

241 Mass. 322
135 N.E. 223

PITMAN
v.
LYNN GAS & ELECTRIC CO.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Essex.

May 1, 1922.


Report from Superior Court, Essex County; Nelson P. Brown, Judge.

Action by Dorothy L. Pitman against the Lynn Gas & Electric Company for personal injuries sustained in using a gas flatiron purchased from defendant, a dealer, by a third person, who loaned it to plaintiff. Reported from the superior court, after a verdict for plaintiff. Judgment for defendant.


Frederick E. Shaw and George F. Hogan, both of Lynn, for plaintiff.

241 Mass. 322]Starr Parsons, Arthur G. Wadleigh, and Patrick F. Crowley, all of Lynn, for defendant.
CARROLL, J.

The defendant is engaged in the manufacture and sale of gas and electricity and also in the business of selling gas and electrical appliances. It bought from the manufacturer, the William M. Crane Company, Vulcan gas flatirons, and sold one of them to a purchaser, who gave the plaintiff permission to use it. On August 27, 1917, while the plaintiff was using the appliance, her clothing caught fire from a ‘blue flame’ coming from [241 Mass. 323]the side of the flatiron and she was severely burned. There was evidence that the purchaser had observed that the handle of the flatiron would at times get hot, and if used for any great length of time small flames would come from the holes on the side, and that it would smoke. An expert, called by the plaintiff, testified in substance that the flatiron was fundamentally defective, and that the size of the holes would cause flames to come out. There was evidence that the articles were supplied the defendant by the manufacturer in separate boxes; that the defendant inspected each iron to see that there was no fault in its construction. There was also evidence that neither the maker nor the defendant had known prior to the sale by the defendant of flames bursting from the flatiron as claimed by the plaintiff. There was a verdict for the plaintiff, and the judge reported the case to this court.

The plaintiff did not purchase the flatiron from the Lynn Gas & Electric Company. She had no contractual relations with the defendant and it was not the manufacturer of the appliance.

It has been frequently decided and it is the settled law of this commonwealth that neither the seller nor manufacturer is, under ordinary circumstances, liable for mere negligence to a third person with whom he has no contractual relations.

‘The general principal applicable to this class of cases is, that a vendor takes on himself no duty or obligation other than that which results from his contract. For a breach of this, he is liable only to those with whom he contracted. All others are strangers. The law fastens on him no general or public duty arising out of his contract,...

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22 practice notes
  • Guinan v. Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 6, 1929
    ...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. In the absence of negligence a retail dealer, in selling a commodi......
  • Carter v. Yardley & Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 17, 1946
    ...124, 131 N.E. 454, 17 A.L.R. 669;Tompkins v. Quaker Oats Co., 239 Mass. 147, 149, 131 N.E. 456;Pitman v. Lynn Gas & Electric Co., 241 Mass. 322, 323, 135 N.E. 223;Tonsman v. Greenglass, 248 Mass. 275, 277, 142 N.E. 756;Christensen v. Bremer, 263 Mass. 129, 136, 160 N.E. 410;Giberti v. J......
  • Defore v. Bourjois, Inc., 6 Div. 225
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 9, 1958
    ...device, Heggblom v. John Wanamaker New York, 178 Misc. 792, 36 N.Y.S.2d 777; a flatiron, Pitman v. Lynn Gas & Electric Co., 241 Mass. 322, 135 N.E. 223; a gas stove, McCabe v. Boston Consol. Gas Co., 314 Mass. 493, 50 N.E.2d 640; a gate stop, Schindley v. Allen-Sherman-Hoff Co., 6 Cir.,......
  • King Hardware Co v. Ennis, (Nos. 19064, 19065.)
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • February 22, 1929
    ...C. A.) 262 F. 331, 13 A. L. R. 1170; Osheroff v. Rhodes-Bur-ford Co., 203 Ky. 408, 262 S. W. 583; Pitman v. Lynn Gas & Electric Co., 241 Mass. 322, 135 N. E. 223; Pate Auto Co. v. West-brook Elevator Co., 142 Miss. 419, 107 So. 552; Bond v. Consolidated Gas, etc., Co., 146 Md. 390, 126 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • Guinan v. Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 6, 1929
    ...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. In the absence of negligence a retail dealer, in selling a commodi......
  • Carter v. Yardley & Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 17, 1946
    ...124, 131 N.E. 454, 17 A.L.R. 669;Tompkins v. Quaker Oats Co., 239 Mass. 147, 149, 131 N.E. 456;Pitman v. Lynn Gas & Electric Co., 241 Mass. 322, 323, 135 N.E. 223;Tonsman v. Greenglass, 248 Mass. 275, 277, 142 N.E. 756;Christensen v. Bremer, 263 Mass. 129, 136, 160 N.E. 410;Giberti v. J......
  • Defore v. Bourjois, Inc., 6 Div. 225
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 9, 1958
    ...device, Heggblom v. John Wanamaker New York, 178 Misc. 792, 36 N.Y.S.2d 777; a flatiron, Pitman v. Lynn Gas & Electric Co., 241 Mass. 322, 135 N.E. 223; a gas stove, McCabe v. Boston Consol. Gas Co., 314 Mass. 493, 50 N.E.2d 640; a gate stop, Schindley v. Allen-Sherman-Hoff Co., 6 Cir.,......
  • King Hardware Co v. Ennis, (Nos. 19064, 19065.)
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • February 22, 1929
    ...C. A.) 262 F. 331, 13 A. L. R. 1170; Osheroff v. Rhodes-Bur-ford Co., 203 Ky. 408, 262 S. W. 583; Pitman v. Lynn Gas & Electric Co., 241 Mass. 322, 135 N. E. 223; Pate Auto Co. v. West-brook Elevator Co., 142 Miss. 419, 107 So. 552; Bond v. Consolidated Gas, etc., Co., 146 Md. 390, 126 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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