About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

50 Minn. L. Rev. 791 (1965-1966)
The Fall of the Citadel (Strict Liability to the Consumer)

handle is hein.journals/mnlr50 and id is 807 raw text is: The Fall of the Citadel
(Strict Liability to the Consumer)
Continuing his study of the law of products liability, the
author details the recent explosion in the field.
William L. Prosser*
The fall of a citadel is a dramatic moment. The stronghold has
long been invested; the siege has endured for months. Parallels
have been dug and gun emplacements mounted; and a grim can-
nonade has made breaches in the great wall, behind which the
defenders have erected demilunes, so that the struggle goes on.
There is a final heavy bombardment; the assault goes forward
against the main breach, and the storming party ascends over
the corpses of the slain. There is a desperate hour of hand-to-hand
combat, and then the moment when the defense falters. The line
wavers; the break becomes a retreat, the retreat a rout. The rest
is the story of sack and slaughter, of riot, rape and rapine, that
has added an evil luster to the names of Magdeburg and Badajoz,
along with ancient Troy.
In the field of products liability, the date of the fall of the cita-
del of privity can be fixed with some certainty. It was May 9,
1960, when the Supreme Court of New Jersey announced the de-
cision in Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors, Inc. The leaguer
had been an epic one of more than fifty years. The sister fortress
of negligence liability had fallen, after an equally prolonged de-
fense, in 1916 Much sapping and mining had finally carried a
whole south wing of the strict liability citadel, involving food
and drink; and further inroads had been made into an adjoining
area of products for what might be called intimate bodily use,
such as hair dye and cosmetics Heavy artillery had made no less
*Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings College of Law.
1. 82 NJ. 358, 161 A.2d 69 (1960).
2. See generally Prosser, The Assault Upon the Citadel, 69 YALE LJ.
1099 (1960).
3. E.g., Graham v. Bottenfield's, Inc., 176 Kan. 68, 269 P.2d 413 (1965)
(hair dye); Rogers v. Toni Home Permanent Co., 167 Ohio St. 244, 147 N.E.2d
612 (1958) (permanent wave -solution).

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most