Anita Bernstein, ‘The Reciprocal of MacPherson v Buick Motor Company

MacPherson v Buick Motor Company won fame for taking down a privity barrier that stood between consumers and manufacturers of products that cause injury. Privity had offered liability-shelter to remote vendors; MacPherson destroyed that shelter when it held that nonprivy vendees have an entitlement to care and vigilance. In this relation of mutually constituted security and danger, privity and MacPherson are each the other’s reciprocal. This article, written to celebrate the centenary of a great decision, explores the reciprocity path that MacPherson helped to build by considering instances of law-mandated care and vigilance that came after it. Broadly worded obligations as provisioned in MacPherson function to support, or at least are consistent with, entitlements and shelters that business entities now receive from American consumers.

Bernstein, Anita, The Reciprocal of MacPherson v Buick Motor Company (2016). Journal of Tort Law, Volume 9, p 5, 2016; Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No 616.

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