Goulding v. Skinner

18 Mass. (1 Pick.) 162 (1822)

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Goulding v. Skinner

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
18 Mass. (1 Pick.) 162 (1822)

Facts

Goulding (plaintiff) sued Skinner (defendant) for breach of warranty. Skinner’s business sold machine cards and had advertised those cards with wording stating that the cards were warranted equal to any in America. Goulding argued that this language created a warranty that the cards were merchantable and good but that, in reality, the cards were not good or merchantable and of little to no value. The actual purchase contract did not make any repetition of the warranting from the advertisement. At the trial, an instruction was given to the jury that the advertisement was equivalent to an express warranty. The jury then found for Goulding, but Skinner argued that this instruction had been error and appealed for a new trial. On appeal, the argument focused on the advertisement and the extent to which the advertisement must be read as a warranty. The plaintiffs argued that the advertisement must be read as expressing a warranty that the cards must be of ordinary quality and admitted that a common advertisement must not be read with absolute strictness. The defendants argued that a warranty could only lie with an express declaration and that an advertisement did not qualify as an express declaration.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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