TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Bernard Chazen, the Attorney Who Won Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors, Passes Away at 96

At Torts Today, George Conk is reporting the death of the attorney who won Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors in 1960.  Here is the family's obituary:

BERNARD CHAZEN
 Englewood, NJ  Bernard Chazen - Englewood, NJ – age 96 on April 11, 2020 
Born to Nathan and Esther Chazen in New York, New York.
Beloved husband of Bernice Chazen for 56 years who predeceased him in 2010. A wonderful father to David, Jonathan (his wife Cynthia) and Sarah (her husband Martin). He raised his family in Englewood and served on the Englewood Board of   Education (1965-1969, President 1968-1969). General Counsel to the Englewood Redevelopment  Agency (1970-1973).
A loving grandfather to grandsons Sam, Max, Ben, Daniel and Jacob. A first  generation American citizen. Worked in his parent’s millinery shop as a child.
As a member of  America’s greatest generation he enlisted in the Navy during World War II and served as a lieutenant  aboard an LST in the Pacific Theater. Upon his return he attended Middlebury College, Columbia  University (JD) and Rutgers University (LLM) thanks to the GI Bill. He continued to serve in the Navy  reserves as a JAG officer and retired with the rank of Captain.
In 1949 he began to practice law in New  Jersey. His contributions to American jurisprudence in the field of product liability improved the lives of  all Americans. He believed that manufacturers have a responsibility to make their products safe for use.  There was a time that manufacturers of a defective products were not legally responsible to the  consumer because the consumer did not purchase the product directly from the manufacturer and  lacked privity of contract. He searched for the right case to take up on appeal and change the law. He  found it and argued the landmark 1960 case, Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors, and pioneered modern  product liability law into what became the law of the land.
Manufacturers are now incentivized to make  safe products and avoid liability for defective products that injure consumers. He argued cases before  the US Supreme Court.
He was an Associate Editor of the New Jersey Law Journal from 1967 until his  retirement in 2008 and a prolific writer of editorials. He often lectured to other lawyers on a variety of  legal topics for continuing legal education programs run by ICLE and Inns of Court. He was appointed to  numerous committees by the New Jersey Supreme Court. He was appointed to numerous commissions  by the Governor and served on the New Jersey Law Revision Commission. He was a Certified Civil Trial  Attorney. He was considered a “lawyer’s lawyer”.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2020/04/bernard-chazen-the-attorney-who-won-henningsen-v-bloomfield-motors-dies-at-96.html

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