Disapproving Maxton v. Western States Metals (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 81, this decision holds that the component parts doctrine does not bar a suit by a worker (and his wife) claiming product liability and negligent failure to warn of the health hazards of the metal which defendant sold the worker’s employer.  The worker claimed that he developed interstitial pulmonary fibrosis from inhaling the fumes from the molten metal as he fabricated metal parts for his employer’s business.  The component parts doctrine shields a component manufacturer or supplier from end consumers’ products liability claims arising from defects in the ultimate consumer good into which the component part is assembled.  Here, the claim was of injury inflicted by the component part on a worker in the assembly process using the component part for its intended purpose.  There is no reason to shield the component part’s manufacturer or supplier from that type of claim since it can accurately predict how its own product will be used in the manufacturing or assembly process.

California Supreme Court (Cantil-Sakauye, C.J.); June 23, 2016; 2016 WL 3435777