Definition of privity
1 a : a relationship between persons who successively have a legal interest in the same right or property b : an interest in a transaction, contract, or legal action to which one is not a party arising out of a relationship to one of the parties
2 : private or joint knowledge of a private matter; especially : cognizance implying concurrence
Origin of privity
Middle English privite privacy, secret, from Anglo-French priveté, from Medieval Latin privitat-, privatas, from Latin privus private — more at private
First Known Use: 1523
Legal Definition of privity
1 : the direct connection or relationship between parties to a contract or transaction (as a purchase) <privity of contract> — see also horizontal privity 2, vertical privity 2 Editor's note: Formerly a suit for breach of warranty or negligence arising from a product could only be brought by a party to the original contract or transaction, and only against the party (as a retailer) directly dealt with. Only these parties had privity. Under modern laws and doctrines of strict liability and implied warranty, however, the right to sue has been extended to those, such as third-party beneficiaries and members of a purchaser's household, whose use of a product is foreseeable.
2a : a mutual or successive interest especially in the same rights of property (as by inheritance or purchase); also : the condition of having such an interest — see also horizontal privity 1, vertical privity 1 b : an interest in a transaction, contract, or especially action that does not derive from direct participation but from a relationship to one of the parties or from having an interest identical to one in the original subject matter; also : the condition or relationship of having such an interest <a party in privity> — see also predecessor in interest Editor's note: A claim may be barred by res judicata or collateral estoppel if the plaintiff's interests are identical, by relationship or subject matter, to those of a party to a previous action in which the plaintiff did not participate but which is deemed to have resulted in an adjudication of the plaintiff's rights.
3 : private or joint knowledge of a private matter; especially : awareness (as of wrongdoing) implying concurrence
Origin of privity
Old French privité privacy, secret, from Medieval Latin privitat- privitas, from Latin privus private
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