« ForrigeFortsett »
*Wood,a the rule was examined, and declared to be that if there was no express warranty by the seller or fraud on his part, the buyer, who examines the article himself, must abide by all losses arising from latent defects, equally unknown to both parties; and the same rule was again declared in Swett v. Colgate.b There if no doubt of the existence of the general rule of law, as laid down in Seixas v. Wood; and the only doubt is, whether it was well applied in that case, where there was a description in writing of the article by the vendor, which proved not to be correct, and from which a warranty might have been inferred. But the rule fitly applies to the case where the article was equally open to the inspection and examination of both parties, and the purchaser relied on his own information and judgment, without requiring any warranty of the quality; and it
• 2 Caines' Rep. 48. Welsh v. Carter, 1 WendeWs Rep. 185. Chandelor v. Lopus, Cro. J. 4. S. P. This last case is condemned in Bradford T. Manly, 13 Mass. Rep 139. The case of Chandelor v. Lopus was, that A. sold to B., a stone which he affirmed to be a Bezoar stone, and which was not one; and it was held that no action lay, unless A. knew it was not a Bezoar stone, or warranted it to be one. This doctrine is so far qualified at this day that the action will lie, if it appears that the affirmation at the time of the sale was intended to be a warranty, or that A., from circumstances, was to be presumed cognizant of the falsehood of the representation. What circumstances or facts will support or imply the inference of an intention to warrant or to deceive, has opened a wide field for discussion. In Ilenshaw v. Robins, 9 Metealf R. 86, the subject was learnedly discussed, and the celebrated case of Chandelor v. Lopus, and the New-York decision in Seixas v. Wood, brought under the eye of criticism. It was declared in the Massachusetts case, to be well settled law there, that on a sale of goods with a bill of parcels describing or clearly designating the goods sold; there is a warranty that the goods are as described, or designated in the bill; and the cases of Bradford v. Manly, 13 Mass. 139. Hastings v. Lovering, 2 Pick. 214. Osgood v. Lewis, 2 Harr. 4} (fill. 495. Borrekins v. Bevan, 3 Rawle, 2i. Batturs v. Sellers, 5 Harr. <J- Johns. 117, and C. H. and J., 249, were referred to as containing that doctrine.
b 20 Johns. Rep. 196. A bare representation and no warranty as to goods sold, will not afford an action, if the vendor believes the representation to be true in fact. Stone v. Denney, 4 Metealf R. 151.
does not reasonably apply to those cases where the purchaser has ordered goods of a certain character, and relies on the judgment of the seller, or goods of a certain described quality are offered for sale, and when delivered, they do not answer the description directed or given in the contract. They are not the articles which the vendee agreed to purchase; and there is an implied warranty that the article shall answer the character called for, or be of the quality described, and saleable in the market and under that denomination.a When goods are
* Laing v. Fidgcou, G Taunt. Rep. 108. Tindal, Ch. J., in Brown v. Edington, 2 Manning and Granger, 279. 290. Weal v. King, 12 East's Rep. 452. Gardner v. Gray, 4 Camp. Rep. N. P. Rep. 144. Bridge v. Wnine, 1 Stark. N. P. Rep. 104. Hastings v. Lovering, 2 Pick. Rep. 214. Woodworth, J., in Swett v. Colegate, 20 Johns. Rep. 204. Hyait v. Boyle, 5 Gill d> Johnson, 110. Osgood v. Lewis, 2 Harr. d> Gill, 495. Borrekins v. Bevan, 3 Rawle's Rep. 23. The recent English cases of Gray v. Cox, and Jones v. Bright, (4 Barnw. d> Cress. 108. 4 Camp. N. P. Rep. 144.) give countenance to the more extended doctrine of the civil law, that on the sale of an article there is an implied warranty that it is merchantable, or fit for the purpose declared. The progress of the new English doctrine, which raises, on a fair sale of an article of goods or merchandize, the implied warranty that it is merchantable or fit for the pvrpose intended, is worth attending to. In Jones v. Bowden, (4 Taunt. Rep. 847,) the warranty was implied from the custom of the trade. In Laing v. Fidgeon, (6 Taunt. Rep. 108,) it was implied, that in the sale of manufactured goods they should be merchantable, or fit for some purpose. In Gray v. Cox, (4 Barnw. <J. Cress. 108,) Lord Tenderden held, that if a commodity be sold for a particular purpose, there was an implied warranty that it should be reasonably fit for that purpose. Lord Ellenborough, in Bluett v. Osborne, 1 Starkie's Rep. 384, expressed himself to the same effect; and in Jones v. Bright, (5 Bingham's Rep. 533,) and Shepherd v. Pybus, 3 Manning <J - Granger, 868, the court of C. B. established the same doctrine. The rule is not universally applied, but it approaches very near to the establishment of an implied warranty in every case. As yet, it is the usage of trade, the manufactured goods, or the specific purpose, that raises the warranty. But the principle would apply equally to the sale of a horse for a particular purpose, as for a carriage, or to carry a female; and some of the American cases have taken hold of the new English doetrine, and shown a disposition to domesticate it. Thus, in Osgood v. Lewis, (2 Harr. d> Gill, 495,) and in Van Bracklin v. Fonda, (12 Johns. Rep. 468,) and in Moses v. Mead, 1 Denio Rep. 378, and by Cowen J., in Hut
discovered not to answer *the order given for them or to be unsound, the purchaser ought immediate
v. Wright, 17 Wendell, 267, it was held, that on the sale of provisions for immediate domestic use, there was an implied warranty that they were wholesome ; but if provisions be sold as merchandize and not for immediate consumption, there is no implied warranty of soundness. Id. In Gallagher v. Warring, (9 Wendell's Rep. 20,) it was held that on a sale of cotton in bales without sample or examination, and when the inspection of the article was equally accessible, and its quality equally unknown to both parties, there was an implied warranty that the article was merchantable. So, in the case of Harmony v. Wager, (JV. Y. Superior Court, April, 1836,) on a sale, by a commission merchant, of barrilla, it was held, that as the defendant had not an opportunity (the article being in bales, and its intrinsic merits equally unknown to both parties) to examine the bulk of the article sold, he was entitled to expect a merchantable article, and that having bought with the knowledge of the seller, the article for a particular purpose, he was entitled to an article which would answer for that purpose. These last cases go quite so far at least, as any of the English cases, and trench deeply upon the plain maxim of the common law, caveat emptor; and I cannot but think that the old rule, and the old decisions down to that of Seixas v. Wood, wero the safest and wisest guides; and that the new doctrine, carried to this extent, will lead to much difficulty and vexatious litigation in mercantile business. In Hart v. Wright, 17 Wendell, 267, Judge Cowen learnedly reviews the cases on the subject, and the conclusion of the court is justly and spiritedly in favour of the old rule of the common law, in contradiction to the rule of the civil law, and he says it n the American doctrine, and emphatically so in New-York. Ch. J. Branson in Moses v. Mead, 1 Denio, 384, is of the same opinion. On a general sale of merchandize for a sound price, there is no implied warranty that the article is fit for merchantable or manufacturing purposes. A warranty is not raised by a sound price alone, except under peculiar circumstances, as where there is a written description as to kind or quality, or goods of a certain description are contracted for, or perhaps in some other peculiar cases. So, again, in the case of Waring v. Mason, 18 Wendell, 425, the chancellor and Mr. Senator Paige expressed themselves decidedly in favour of the common law doctrine; and in the case of Wright v. Hart, in error from the supreme court to the court of errors, (Ibid. 449,) Chancellor Walworth and Mr. Senator Tracy, gave a strong sanction to the argument of Judge Cowen, in support of the common law doctrine of caveat emptor, and the rule of the civil law was rejected. The common law on this point is now reinstated in the jurisprudence of New-York. Ch. J. Gibson, also, in the Pennsylvania case of M'Farland v. Newman, Sepicmber, 1839, Law Reporter, vol. ii. No. 10. 9 Watts' Rep. 55, supports this common law doctrine of caveat emptor on the sale of chattels, in cases without ly to return them to the vendor, or give him notice to take them back, and thereby rescind the contract; or he will be presumed to acquiesce in the quality of the goods.* In the case of a breach of warranty, he may sue upon it without returning the goods; but he must return them and rescind the contract in a reasonable time, before he can maintain an action to re
fraud, misrepresentation, or warranty, understanding^ made with distinguished strength and success. In South Carolina, (as, see infra, p. 481,} the prior doctrine of the English law is adhered to in a case analogous to the one in New York. In the London Law Magazine, No. 7, p. 192—197, this subject is fully and ably discussed. Again, the supreme court of NewYork, in Howard v. Hoey, 23 Wendell's Rep. 350, has strongly enforced the distinction between executed and executory contracts. It has declared that in contract of sale of an article of merchandize at a future day, where there is no selection or setting apart at the time of specific articles, so as to pass the property in prasenti, merchantable quality bringing the average market price, is intended. In the ca»e of an executed sale, an express warranty of quality is necessary to bind the vendor in the absence of fraud Moses v. Mead, 1 Denio, 378. But if the sale be executory, or to deliver an article not defined at the time, on a future day, there is an implied warranty that the article shall be at least of medinm quality or goodness. The rule in such a case of caeeat eenditor, and not caeeat emptor, governs. If the thing comes short of being merchantable, it may be returned after the vendee has had a reasonable time to inspect it. "Suitableness, say the court, enters into every promise to deliver articles of manufacture." In this case the court, seems to relax from the severity of the doctrin* in 17 and 18 Wendell, and to repose upon the modern and milder English rule. It is to be regretted that the rule (whatever it may be) concerning the application of implied warranties in the sale of personal property, is not more certain and stable. In Sutton v. Temple, 12 Meeson <$Wehby, 52, it was held after much discussion that on a demise of land simply for pasture of cattle for a certain term, at a fixed rent, there was no implied warranty that the pasture should be fit for that purpose, though where a contract was for a specific chattel, for a specific purpose, there was an implied obligation that it should be fit for that purpose. Hart v. Windsor, 12 Meeeon $ W. 68 S. P. Sedgwick on Damages, p. 289—300i has collected the cases on the rule of damages on warranties contained in •ales, and they are in perplexing contrariety, and the masterly writers on the civil law to whom Mr. Sedgwick refers leave us in equal difficulty and without any certain guide or definite rule. Id. p. 300—307. • Fisher v. Samuda, 1 Campb. N. P. Rep. 190.
cover bac'c the price.* He cannot deal with the article purchased after discovery of fraud in a sale without
• Fielder v. Starhin, 1 //. Blacks. Rep. 17. Weston v. Downes, Doug. Rep. 23. Towers v. Barrett, 1 Term. Rep. 133. Curtis v. Hannay, 3 Esp. Rep. 82. Kellogg v. Denslow. 14 Conn. Rep. 411. Pateshall v. Tranter, 4 Neville $ Manning, 649. 3 Adolphus $ Elite, 103, S. C. In this last case the decision in Fielder v. Starkin, that an action will lie on a breach of warranty of soundness of a horse sold, though it be not returned, and though notice of the unsoundness be delayed, was held to be sound law. Franklin v. Long, 7 Gill »J- Johnson, 407. Boorman v. Johnston, 12 Wendell's Rep. 566. Waring v. Mason, 18 Wendell, 426. To the same purpose it has been held, that if the chattel had a defect fraudulently concealed, the vendee has his election either to keep it, and sue for damages, or to return, or offer to return it within a reasonable time, and rescind the contract. Hoggins v. Beecraft, 1 Dana's Ken. Rep. 30. The vendor, after notice that the horse warranted sound is unsound. and when an offer is made to return him, and the vendee sells him, is answerable for the difference of price, and the keep of the horse for a reasonable time. Chesterman v. Lamb, 4 Nevile d> Manning, 196. In Street v. Blay, 2 Burnw. <J- Adolph. 456, it was held that the vendee could not rescind the sale and return the property if the sale was without fraud. Cowen, }., in Cary v. Gruman, 4 Hill, 625, S. P. He has only au action on his warranty, Sedgwick on Damages, p. 290, and it is now well settled, he observes, Id. p. 290, that the rule of damages is the difference between the actual value aud the value the article would have possessed, if it had conformed to the warranty. As to the measure of damages on breaches of contract, it seems not to be explicitly settled, whether in the case of a horse sold and warranted sound, which proves to have been unsound, and is resold by the buyer at a reduced price, the measure of damages is to be the difference between the original price and the price the horse sold for, or between the price the horse sold for, and the value of the horse, if sound, going far beyond the original price. The dictum of Lord Eldon, in Curtis v. Hannay, 3 Esp. 82, ia in favour of the actual value of the horse, if sound, at the resale, but Lord Loughborough, in Fielder v. Starkin, 1 //. Black. 17, is in favour of the value, us ascertained by the original agreement, and this would seem to be in harmony with the rule of damage on the covenant of warranty in the sale of land. The general rule is well settled, that in a suit by vendee for a breach of contract on the part of the vendor, for not delivering an article sold, the measure of damages is the price of the article at the time of the breach. The contract price, on the one hand, and the rise subsequent to the breach, are both to be disregarded. Mr. Sedgwick, in his Treatise on the Measure of Damages, p. 266, says, that in this place the author of the Commentaries appears to have overlooked the distinction running through the cases, resulting from the pay