After an Indiana-based bus manufacturer was dismissed from the case, California law governed Chinese bus passengers’ claims against a California-based bus distributor for injuries sustained when the bus overturned in Arizona; only California had a governmental interest in application of its law. This products liability case arose from a roll over accident of a tour bus in Arizona. The injured passengers or their survivors, all Chinese nationals sued the California bus distributor as well as the Indiana bus manufacturer alleging that a lack of adequate seatbelts contributed to their fatal injuries from the accident. The trial court initially held that Indiana law should govern, but after the Indiana manufacturer settled with the plaintiffs, they moved for reconsideration of that ruling. Held, after the manufacturer settled out, Indiana, whose laws are more protective of defendant manufacturers, no longer had any state interest in the application of its law, so the trial court should have held that the more plaintiff-friendly California law applied as it was the only state with any interest in the application of its law.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8 (Rubin, Acting P.J.); January 18, 2017; 2017 WL 192724