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Cardozo v. True - 342 So. 2d 1053 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1977)

Rule:

Absent allegations that a book seller knew that there was reason to warn the public as to contents of a book, the implied warranty in respect to sale of books by a merchant who regularly sells them is limited to a warranty of the physical properties of such books and does not extend to the material communicated by the book's author or publisher. 

Facts:

Plaintiff purchased a cookbook from defendant retail book dealer. While preparing a meal from a recipe in the cookbook, plaintiff ate one of the ingredients. Plaintiff became violently ill and was hospitalized. The cookbook failed to mention that the ingredient was poisonous if not cooked. Plaintiffs, the wife and her husband, filed a suit against defendant that alleged among other things that that defendant had impliedly warranted that the book was reasonably fit for its intended use, and that it was not, due to inadequate instructions and warnings. The Circuit Court certified two questions to the Court of Appeal of Florida on whether a retail book dealer was liable under Fla. Stat. ch. 672.314, or the common law of implied warranties, to a purchaser of a cookbook for her injuries caused by improper instructions or lack of adequate warnings as to poisonous ingredients used in a recipe.

Issue:

Is a retail book dealer was liable to a purchaser of a cookbook for her injuries caused by improper instructions or lack of adequate warnings as to poisonous ingredients used in a recipe?

Answer:

No

Conclusion:

The court found that the retail book dealer was not liable under Fla. Stat. ch. 672.314 to plaintiff for injuries caused by improper instructions or inadequate warnings as to poisonous ingredients used in a recipe. The court also found that absent allegations that the retail book dealer knew that there was reason to warn the public as to contents of a book, that the implied warranty in respect to sale of books by a merchant who regularly sells them was limited to a warranty of the physical properties of such books and not the material communicated.

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