In its broadest sense, "privity" is defined as mutual or successive relationships to the same right of property, or such an identification of interest of one person with another as to represent the same legal right. Petersen v. Fee Intern., Ltd., D.C.Okl., 435 F.Supp. 938, 942.
Derivative interest founded on, or growing out of, contract, connection, or bond of union between parties; mutuality of interest. Hodgson v. Midwest Oil Co., C.C.A.Wyo., 17 F.2d 71, 75.
Thus, the executor is in privity with the testator, the heir with the ancestor, the assignee with the assignor, the donee with the donor, and the lessee with the lessor. Litchfield v. Crane, 123 U.S. 549, 8 S.Ct. 210, 31 L.Ed. 199.
Privity signifies that relationship between two or more persons is such that a judgment involving one of them may justly be conclusive upon other, although other was not party to lawsuit. Gill and Duffus Services, Inc. v. A.M. Nural Islam, C.A., 675 F.2d 404, 405, 218 U.S.App.D.C. 385.
Private knowledge; joint knowledge with another of a private concern; cognizance implying a consent or concurrence.
@ horizontal privity
Such privity is not, in reality, a state of privity but rather one of nonprivity. The term refers to those who are not in the distributive chain of a product but who, nonetheless, use the product and retain a relationship with the purchaser, such as a member of the purchaser's family. Szajna v. General Motors Corp., 115 I11.2d 294, 104 Ill.Dec. 898, 503 N.E.2d 760, 765.
See also U.C.C. No. 2-318
@ privity of blood
Such existed between an heir and his ancestor (privity in blood inheritable), and between coparceners. This privity was formerly of importance in the law of descent cast
@ privity of contract
That connection or relationship which exists between two or more contracting parties. It was traditionally essential to the maintenance of an action on any contract that there should subsist such privity between the plaintiff and defendant in respect of the matter sued on. However, the absence of privity as a defense in actions for damages in contract and tort actions is generally no longer viable with the enactment of warranty statutes (see e.g. U.C.C. No. 2-318 below), acceptance by states of doctrine of strict liability (q.v.), and court decisions (e.g. MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. 1050) which have extended the right to sue for injuries or damages to third party beneficiaries, and even innocent bystanders (Elmore v. American Motors Corp., 70 Cal.2d 578, 75 Cal.Rptr. 652, 451 P.2d 84).
U.C.C. No. 2-318 provides three Alternative provisions (A-C) covering third party beneficiaries of express or implied warranties.
Most states have enacted Alternative A:
"A seller's warranty whether express or implied extends to any natural person who is in the family or household of his buyer or who is a guest in his home if it is reasonable to expect that such person may use, consume or be affected by the goods and who is injured in person by breach of the warranty. A seller may not exclude or limit the operation of this section."
Other states have further broadened this model provision.
For example Massachusetts U.C.C. No. 2-318 provides:
"Lack of privity between plaintiff and defendant shall be no defense in any action brought against the manufacturer, seller, lessor or supplier of goods to recover damages for breach of warranty, express or implied, or for negligence, although the plaintiff did not purchase the goods from the defendant if the plaintiff was a person whom the manufacturer, seller, lessor or supplier might reasonably have expected to use, consume or be affected by the goods..."
@ privity of estate
Mutual or successive relation to the same right in property such as that which exists between lessor and lessee or their successors. A subtenant, who is in privity of estate with the original lessor, may avail himself of any covenants in the original lease which "touch and concern" the land. Castle v. Double Time, Inc., Okl., 737 P.2d 900
@ privity of possession
Relationship which exists between parties in successive possession of real property. Such relationship becomes important in cases of adverse possession claims.
@ vertical privity
Refers to the relationship between those who are in the distributive chain of a product. Szajna v. General Motors Corp., 115 I11.2d 294, 104 Ill.Dec. 898, 503 N.E.2d 760, 765
@ privity of knowledge
Under Rev.St. No.No. 4283-4286 (46 U.S.C.A. No.No. 183-186) withholding the right to limit liability if the shipowner had "privity or knowledge" of the fault which occasioned damages, privity or knowledge must be actual and not merely constructive, and must involve a personal participation of the owner in some fault or act of negligence causing or contributing to the injury suffered. The words import actual knowledge of the things causing or contributing to the loss, or knowledge or means of knowledge of a condition of things likely to produce or contribute to the loss without adopting proper means to prevent it.

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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