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Latham v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Missouri Court of Appeals
818 S.W.2d 673 (1991)


Facts

Roberta Latham (plaintiff) was an employee of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart) (defendant). Roberta, who wanted a pet, asked Wal-Mart to order a parrot for this purpose. Wal-Mart did not otherwise purchase or sell parrots, but specially ordered the parrot as a favor to Roberta. Roberta and her husband, James Latham (plaintiff), paid Wal-Mart and took the parrot home. The parrot was infected with psittacosis, a disease similar to pneumonia that can be transmitted to humans. The parrot transmitted the disease to James. The Lathams brought a products-liability suit based on strict liability against Wal-Mart and the manager of Roberta’s store, Charles Bezoni (defendant), alleging that the parrot was defective. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The Lathams appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gaertner, J.)

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