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California’s Supreme Court tackles the sophisticated intermediary defense

Attorney: Katherine P. Gardiner, Kendra E. Bray | Published 8.26.16

Walsworth attorneys Kate Gardiner and Kendra Bray wrote an article for Westlaw Journal Asbestos analyzing the expected effect of the recent California Supreme Court decision that allows for the use of the sophisticated intermediary defense in asbestos litigation.

Earlier this year, on May 23, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in William B. Webb v. Special Electric Company., Inc., 63 Cal.4th 167 (2016), formally adopting the sophisticated intermediary defense against failure to warn claims.

According to Gardiner and Bray, “while the ruling is a win for component parts and material suppliers facing lawsuits from end-users of finished products into which those raw materials are incorporated, some important questions remain unanswered, including what level of evidence will be required to prove up this defense.”

“To date, product manufacturers and suppliers have been able to rely on three major defenses to failure to warn claims in product liability lawsuits — the sophisticated user doctrine, the component parts defense, and bulk supplier defense,” explained Gardiner and Bray.

Click here to read the article.

Reproduced with permission from Westlaw Journal, Copyright 2016. To learn more click: