Caveat Emptor, Boeing

by Walter E. Block

Caveat emptor is one the basic building blocks of just law. “Buyer beware” is the lynchpin of commerce. If the seller is responsible for flaws in the product (caveat vendidor), there will be precious few goods or services ever supplied. For who would want to grant any disgruntled consumer open sesame to engage in a lawsuit?

This includes products that have “danger” written all over them, at least potentially, such as knives, guns, scissors, hedge clippers, razor blades, automobiles, planes, etc. Also covered are items not ordinarily thought of as fraught. But staples can bite into fingers and cause infection; rubber bands can take out an eye. This is to say nothing of even the most humble drugs: take 100 aspirins at one sitting, and you will no longer be among the living. Meat can spoil. Even garden vegetables come replete with dirt, which can contain who knows what.

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