Brief Fact Summary. After Plaintiff slipped and sustained several injuries from a “slippery and unsafe” pair of shoes, she brought suit against Defendant, who had awarded the shoes the “Good Housekeeping’s Consumers’ Guaranty Seal.”
Synopsis of Rule of Law. While a publisher may not be held liable for misrepresentations by an author, an advertiser who gives a consumer guarantee may be held liable when a product does not live up to that guarantee.
Privity of contract is not necessary to establish the existence of a duty to exercise ordinary care not to injure another, but such duty may arise out of a voluntarily assumed relationship if public policy dictates the existence of such a duty.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether a magazine that gives a consumer guaranty to a product will later be held liable when a product does not live up to that guaranty?
* The appellate court reversed the dismissal, because a consumer guaranty seal purposefully induces consumers, such as Plaintiff, to rely on it in buying a product.
Discussion. The important consideration in this case is the consumer guaranty. While a publisher or advertiser of a product cannot usually be held liable for its defects, if it gives a consumer guaranty which induces members of the public to buy its products, it will generally be held to the terms of that guaranty, because it has extended a duty to the public by making said guaranty.