Morrow v. New Moon Homes, Inc.

548 P.2d 279 (Alaska 1976)

 

RULE:

The theory of strict liability in tort does not extend to the consumer who suffers only economic loss because of defective goods. 

FACTS:

Plaintiffs sought to hold defendant manufacturer statutorily liable for breached statutory warranties under Alaska Stat. §§ 45.05.096 and 45.05.98 when the mobile home plaintiffs purchased became uninhabitable. Plaintiffs argued that strict liability should apply in the situation where a consumer sued a manufacturer solely for economic loss attributable to the manufacturers' defective product. The Court rendered judgment for defendant manufacturer. The plaintiffs appealed the judgment.

ISSUE:

Was strict tort liability applicable to breached statutory warranties under Alaska Stat. §§ 45.05.096 (implied warranty of "merchantability" in the sale of goods) and 45.05.98 (implied warranty that the goods are fit for the particular purpose for which they were purchased)? 

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The court held that strict tort liability did not extend to plaintiffs because they suffered only economic losses from the defective mobile home. The court held that statutory remedies were applicable to defendant. Nevertheless, the court remanded for a new trial because defendant committed an error in the pleadings and justice required that plaintiffs have an opportunity to establish whether the court had jurisdiction over defendant pursuant to Alaska's long-arm statute, Alaska 09.05.015(a)(4).

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