Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Bystander


Quick Summary of Bystander

a nonparticipant spectator

What is the dictionary definition of Bystander?

Dictionary Definition

A person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part.


Full Definition of Bystander

A bystander in a product liability case is the person who does not buy or use the product but can sue for damages caused by the product if they can prove the item was defective, the defect proximately caused their injury, and the defect rendered the product unreasonably dangerous. A bystander’s cause of action may be based on strict tort liability. Strict liability extends the responsibility of the vendor or manufacturer to all individuals who might be injured by the product, even if they had no direct relationship to the product.

For example, in New York plaintiffs were injured in a frontal collision when their automobile was struck by defendant’s oncoming automobile. The plaintiffs alleged that their injuries were caused by the defective steering mechanism in the defendant’s automobile, and the plaintiffs sued the defendant’s manufacturer for negligence and breach of implied warranty. This and other rulings “have led to the elimination in most jurisdictions of the warranty requirement of contractual privity between the manufacturer and the party injured by the defective product, thus allowing recovery by nonpurchasing users of the product in strict liability actions.”

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Bystander. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
January 24, 2022
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Bystander. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: January 24, 2022).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Bystander. Retrieved January 24, 2022
, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Bystander are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 30th March, 2020 | 1 Views.