HP CONVINCES CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT TO ADOPT SOPHISTICATED INTERMEDIARY DEFENSE

Posted on Monday, 27 June 2016

The California Supreme Court adopted the "sophisticated intermediary" defense in California.  HP partner James Parker argued the case before the Court.

The case is Webb v. Special Electric (May 23, 2016) 63 Cal.4th 167.

 

Under the defense, "a [product] supplier may discharge its duty to warn end users about known or knowable risks in the use of its product if it: (1) provides adequate warnings to the product's immediate purchaser, or sells to a sophisticated purchaser that it knows is aware or should be aware of the specific danger, and (2) reasonably relies on the purchaser to convey appropriate warnings to downstream users who will encounter the product."

The Court also overruled Stewart v. Union Carbide (2010) 190 Cal.App.4th 23, which had given a more restrictive reading of the defense.  

The entire published opinion is linked here.

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