In the case of Baxter v. Ford Motor Co. (168 Wash. 456, 12 P.2d 409 (1932)), the windshield of Baxter’s car shattered, injuring him. This was back in the day when if you wanted to sue for product liability, you normally used contract law as a basis. But since Baxter bought the car from a retailer, has were not in privity with Ford and therefore had no standing to bring suit under contract law. However, Baxter noticed that the windshield had an express warranty that it would be “shatterproof.” Since it was obviously not shatterproof, Baxter sued under tort law as fraud (by misprepresentation). The Court found that Baxter could recover for product liability claims under tort law.
- Note that this case only applied to express warranties. It wasn’t until Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors, Inc. (161 A.2d 69 (N.J. 1960)) that the idea was extended to implied warranties.