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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
CHRYSLER CORPORATION v. TAYLOR.
53392.
STOLZ, Judge.
Action for damages. Cobb Superior Court. Before Judge Ravan.
The appellee bought a new Dodge automobile, which had been manufactured by the appellant. He soon discovered that the vehicle had numerous defects. At the appellee's insistence, the appellant made several attempts to repair the car, but was never able to do so to the appellee's satisfaction. The appellee, therefore, brought this suit against the appellant seeking damages for loss of bargain, the cost of a replacement for the defective Dodge, interest paid on his auto, wages lost while attending to the vehicle, and attorney fees. Over the appellant's objections and motions for directed verdict, the case was presented to the jury solely on the grounds of negligence and strict liability for manufacturers. Judgment was entered on a verdict awarding the appellee compensatory and punitive damages, and the appellant appeals.
App. 293 (2) (217 SE2d 602) (1975).
2. The trial judge also erred in his denial of the appellant's motion for directed verdict as to the issue of strict liability under Code Ann., 105-106 (Ga. L. 1968, pp. 1166, 1167). Code Ann. 105-106 provides for strict liability of manufacturers "to any natural person . . . who suffers injury to his person or property . . ." We hold that an "injury," within the context of Code Ann. 105-106, does not include damages stemming from loss of the benefit of one's bargain. "The history of the doctrine of strict liability in tort indicates that it was designed . . . to govern the distinct problem of physical injuries." Seely v. White Motor Co., 45 Cal. Rptr. 17 (11) (403 P2d 145) (1965).
If a consumer wishes to recover for a loss of bargain through its purchasing of defective goods in the absence of fraud, it should pursue recovery under warranty laws. This distinction between recovery by strict liability in tort and recovery for loss of bargain in warranty is not arbitrary. The distinction rests on the nature of the responsibility which a manufacturer must assume in distributing its products. A manufacturer has a duty to avoid physical injuries caused by products which fail to meet acceptable standards of safety, and, therefore, the manufacturer may be held responsible for such injuries. A manufacturer does not, however, have a strict duty to manufacture goods which will meet the standards of performance required by every consumer. See Seely v. White Motor Co., supra, (15).
L. Rev. 309, 327 (1973).
Because the appellee can not recover as a matter of law under either negligence or strict liability in tort theories, the trial judge erred in his denial of the appellant's motions for directed verdict.
Richard L. Powell, for appellee.
Alston, Miller & Gaines, J. Michael Kelly, Frank J. Beltran, for appellant.
ARGUED FEBRUARY 3, 1977 -- DECIDED FEBRUARY 28, 1977 -- REHEARING DENIED MARCH 24, 1977 -- CERT. APPLIED FOR.
Friday May 22 05:46 EDT


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