Major v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Federal law recognizing the legality of tobacco and cigarettes does not preempt state tort law that holds most cigarettes to be a “defective product,” thus exposing the manufacturers to substantial tort liability in California.  Wife sued a tobacco manufacturer for her husband’s death from lung cancer that he contracted after decades as a heavy smoker…

Demara v. The Raymond Corp.

Defendant manufacturer of forklift was not entitled to summary judgment in design defect case, since its design included a large open area around the powered wheels, without any guards, which would crush any part of a human they ran over; and this permits an inference that the design fell below minimum safety assumptions of the…

Trejo v. Johnson & Johnson, Inc.

Jury verdict for defendant on strict liability/duty to warn was fatally inconsistent with verdict against defendant on negligent failure to warn, requiring retrial of suit by a plaintiff who contracted a rare skin disease from taking ibuprofen.  Plaintiff sued manufacturers of ibuprofen after he contracted a rare skin disease from taking the drug.  The jury…

Johnson v. ArvinMeritor

Summary judgment was properly granted against truck repairman plaintiff who had sued brake manufacturers and designers for asbestos exposure, since he introduced no evidence linking defendants to any products that he had used in repairing trucks.  Summary judgment was properly granted to truck brake manufacturers and designers in this case brought by a truck repairman…

Chen v. L.A. Truck Centers, LLC

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…

Ramos v. Brenntag Specialties, Inc.

The component parts doctrine does not shield a manufacturer from strict products liability for injuries a worker suffers by using the manufacturer’s product for its intended purpose in manufacturing a different, composite product of which the manufacturer’s product is a part.  Disapproving Maxton v. Western States Metals (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 81, this decision holds that…

McIndoe v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc.

Warships are not “products” for purposes of strict liability in tort since they are not distributed commercially; also, the “any exposure” theory is insufficient proof of causation in an asbestosis case.  While federal maritime law recognizes strict product liability as a tort, it generally follows the Restatement (Third) of Torts formulation of the tort.  Under…