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Reproduced with permission of the American Bar Association from 29 International Lawyer 525-554 (1995)

excerpt from

Changing Contract Practices in the Light of the United Nations Sales Convention: A Guide for Practitioners

Peter Winship [*]

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Products Liability Claims

The Convention governs only the rights and obligations of the seller and buyer to a sales contract.[23] By necessary implication, the Convention therefore does not cover claims against other parties in the manufacturing or distribution chain. Moreover, the Convention expressly excludes claims for death or personal injury caused by the defects in the goods sold.[24]

Illustration. Seller has its place of business in Germany; Buyer has its place of business in Connecticut. (Germany is a party to the Convention.) Buyer purchases heavy equipment from Seller. A defect in a component of the equipment causes a fire at Buyer's Connecticut plant. The fire injures an employee of Buyer, destroys the heavy equipment purchased, and damages other equipment owned by Buyer. The Convention does not govern liability for injury to the employee, but will govern damages to the equipment and to the other personal property of Buyer.

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Go to entire text of Winship commentary


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*James Cleo Thompson Sr. Trustee Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.

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23. CISG art. 4 ("This Convention governs only the formation of the contract of sale and the rights and obligations of the seller and the buyer arising from such a contract.").

24. CISG art. 5 ("This Convention does not apply to the liability of the seller for death or personal injury caused by the goods to any person.").

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Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated August 16, 1999