William B. Greenman, Plaintiff and Appellant,
Yuba Power Products, Inc., Defendant and Appellant;
The Hayseed, Defendant and Respondent
Supreme Court of California
59 Cal. 2d 57; 377 P.2d 897; 27 Cal. Rptr. 697
January 24, 1963
APPEALS from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego
County. Robert W. Conyers, Judge.
Action by buyer's donee of a power tool for breach of express and implied warranties
and for personal injuries sustained while using the power tool.
Reed, Brockway & Ruffin and William F. Reed for Plaintiff and
Holt, Macomber, Graham & Baugh and William H. Macomber for
Defendant and Appellant.
Moss, Lyon & Dunn, Gerold C. Dunn and Henry F. Walker
as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant.
No appearance for Defendant and Respondent.
In Bank. Judge Traynor;
Chief Judge Gibson and Judges Schauer,
McComb, Peters, Tobriner, and Peek, concurred.
Plaintiff brought this action for damages against the retailer and the manufacturer
of a Shopsmith, a combination power tool that could be used as a saw, drill, and wood
lathe. He saw a Shopsmith demonstrated by the retailer and studied a brochure
prepared by the manufacturer. He decided he wanted a Shopsmith for his home
workshop, and his wife bought and gave him one for Christmas in 1955. In 1957 he
bought the necessary attachments to use the Shopsmith as a lathe for turning a large
piece of wood he wished to make into a chalice. After he had worked on the piece of
wood several times without difficulty, it suddenly flew out of the machine and struck
him on the forehead, inflicting serious injuries. About 10 1/2 months later, he gave the
retailer and the manufacturer written notice of claimed breaches of warranties and filed
a complaint against them alleging such breaches and negligence.
After a trial before a jury, the court ruled that there was no evidence that the
retailer was negligent or had breached any express warranty and that the manufacturer
was not liable for the breach of any implied warranty. Accordingly, it submitted to the
jury only the cause of action alleging breach of implied warranties against the retailer