Child Age 8 and the Warranty of Acceptability

A student asks a law professor if she can have her eight-year-old child sit in class with her, since she couldn’t arrange child care. Yes, she can.

The professor starts teaching. The subject is the warranty of acceptability. (Generally speaking, this warranty allows return in a few days for a refund for certain kinds of defects that make a product largely useless for the purchaser.) The professor gives the class a hypothetical case.

A customer orders one million widgets from a manufacturer. The million widgets are to come painted red. They arrive. The customer finds that nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine are red but one is orange. The customer wants to return the whole million widgets, whether red or orange, for a full refund. The professor asks the class: What are the rights of the parties?

Students look at their shoes. No one was venturing an answer to the professor’s question.

After a while, one hand goes up. “Yes, what would the gentleman like to say?”

The 8-year-old says, “I’d say I’m sorry.”