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Products Liability

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Plaintiffs pled a viable claim for false advertising under the UCL by the defendant manufacturers of pet food labeled "prescription" pet food.  Under the reasonable consumer test, use of the word "prescription" was misleading in suggesting that the pet food contrained medicine or drugs.  The fact that defendants sold their products, at least initially, only through vets did not make… Read More

When a manufacturer cannot repair a new car to cure a defect after a reasonable number of attempts to do so, it must either give the buyer a replacement car or pay the buyer restitution of the full purchase price plus collateral charges and incidental damages.  Civ. Code 1793.2(d).  Initial registration fees payable on purchase or lease of a new… Read More

California does not allow recovery of damages for the shortened life expectancy caused by plaintiff's contracting a disease from the defendant's product.  And, in awarding damages for pain and suffering, the jury may only award such damages during the period the plaintiff is actually expected to live due the contracted disease. Read More

This decision affirms a jury verdict against Monsanto for products liability for failure to warn of the risk that Roundup's genotoxicity may cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  A manufacturer must warn of risks that are merely possible, not probable.  Here, even if the studies linking Roundup to lymphoma represented the minority view on the subject, Monsanto had a duty to warn of… Read More

This decision affirms a jury verdict against Monsanto for design defect liability due to Roundup's genotoxicity which can cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  The trial court properly submitted the case to the jury under the consumer expectations test of design defect.  Much expert testimony was needed to prove that Roundup caused lymphoma.  But no expert testimony was admitted on what a consumer… Read More

To survive express and implied preemption, a state law claim against a medical device manufacturer must allege a claim that is based on conduct that violates the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act but is wholly based on state law which would give rise to recovery even if the federal act did not exist. Here, plaintiff's claims of negligence and… Read More

An animal that is not itself sick is not a product for purposes of a design defect products liability case.  Here, a rat that Petco sold as a pet had a bacterial infection that did not produce a disease affecting the rat but one that rarely, but in this case, fatally, produces a disease in humans.  This decision holds that… Read More

Trial court prejudicially erred in giving a special jury instruction that in determining whether the city's failure to repaint a faded cross-walk and maintain bushes was negligent, the jury could not consider the condition of the adjacent property or the design of the intersection. Read More

Apple owes no duty of care to plaintiffs whose daughter was killed by a motorist who was driving while using FaceTime on his iPhone; proximate causation was also lacking. Read More

In a design defect case, industry custom is not admissible to prove the design was safe or the manufacturer acted reasonably in adopting it, but may be admissible as other Barker v. Lull factors in assessing risk vs. benefit of challenging design. Read More

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