Lawrence J. Moreno and Al Schallau for Plaintiffs and Appellants. Acret & Perrochet, Archbald, Zelezney & Spray, Brill, Hunt, DeBuys & Burby, Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, J. D. Burdick, Chase, Rotchford, Drukker & Bogust, Cummins, White & Breidenbach, Dryden, Harrington & Swartz, Stephen J. Grogan, Hillsinger & Costanzo, John J. Costanzo, Holt, Rhodes & Hollywood, Lynberg & Mills, Morgan, Wenzel & McNicholas, Murchison & Cumming, Ruston, Nance, McCormick & DiCaro, Schell & Delamer, Shield & Smith, Theodore P. Shield and Wilson, Borrer & Dunn as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendants and Respondents. The end result of this configurational analysis by a jury, I submit, based as it must be -- on a comparison of noncomparables -- will necessarily constitute a patently unfair result. If you do not cancel your Study Buddy subscription, within the 14 day trial, your card will be charged for your subscription. If the jury indicates that unseaworthiness was a contributing cause, it then moves on to a second group of similar questions seeking to determine whether, and in what particulars, the plaintiff's own negligence was also a contributing factor. CitationDaly v. General Motors Corp., 20 Cal. 3d 749]. 3d 121, 133 [104 Cal. 1978, California. While agreeing that evidence of compensating design characteristics is admissible, we will further determine that under the circumstances herein prejudicial error requiring reversal occurred upon the admission of evidence of the decedent's alleged intoxication and failure to use safety devices in his vehicle. (Pp. 1975) 512 F.2d 276, 290.) Tort law has evolved from a legal obligation initially imposed without "fault," to recovery which, generally, was based on blameworthiness in a moral sense. 736-737.). 575]; Dreisonstok v. Volkswagenwerk A.G. (4th Cir. However, all our research to discover such apples and oranges has been fruitless. We do not think it reasonable to conclude that plaintiffs waived their objection by failing to request limiting instructions. But is the greater responsibility 51 percent of the loss or 99 percent of the loss? The Act's provisions, therefore, suffering from the same weaknesses that permeate the majority's holding, offer no support in logic, reason or fairness to the majority's holding. 824-825, quoting Grey, supra, at pp. 418.) Second, as a practical matter a manufacturer, in a particular case, cannot assume that the user of a defective product upon whom an injury is visited will be blameworthy. 3d 762], The best reasoned authorities decline to inject negligence, contributory or comparative, into strict products liability litigation. 178, 466 P.2d 722], this court warned that "it would do violence to the doctrine of strict liability and thwart its basic purpose, if we were to interpret [an indemnity] clause as transferring the liability for a defective article from the party putting the article in the stream of commerce, to the user or consumer of the article who is within the class the doctrine was designed to protect.". ), As we observed in Horn, to accept a "nonuse" of safety equipment as a complete defense to a products liability action would constitute but a thinly disguised subversion of the rule that contributory negligence does not prevent recovery. Such an approach is consistent with the departure from the Li principle made by the majority in American Motorcycle Assn. 413, 431 [143 Cal. We rejected both contract and warranty theories, [20 Cal. [20 Cal. The manufacturer's liability, and therefore its incentive to avoid and correct product defects, remains; its exposure will be lessened only to the extent that the trier finds that the victim's conduct contributed to his injury. 63. The difficulty, however, is not limited to comparing strict liability with negligence. BAJI instruction No. They urge that only the precise malfunctioning component itself, and alone, may be considered in determining whether injury was caused by a defectively designed product. 369-371.). 1971) § 67, p. But a rose is a rose and negligence is negligence; thus the majority find that despite semantic camouflage they must rely on Li v. Yellow Cab Co. (1975) 13 Cal. Relying on the apples and oranges argument, Justices Mosk and Jefferson point out that comparative fault cannot be applied logically and consistently in strict liability cases. In cases where the plaintiff is not negligent, the determination of liability is based on fault, and the extent of liability is based solely on amount of loss -- whether grossly or marginally negligent, the defendant's liability is the same. 3d 748] comparative fault in those cases. The plaintiff was the driver of an Opel automobile, and was thrown from his car in an accident, because of an alleged defect of the door latch. He turns the widgets over to a distributor who sells them to a wholesaler who in turn consigns them to a retailer, none of whom commits any active act of negligence. After a defective widget finally reaches and injures the consumer, it would be consummate supererogation for a trier of fact to attempt to measure some consumer negligence against either the faulty design of the product or the responsibility of the congeries of nonnegligent persons who placed the defective product in the stream of commerce, or their responsibility vis-a-vis each other. The majority note one "felicitous result" of adopting comparative negligence to products liability: the merger of assumption of risk -- which they term a "bizarre anomaly" -- into their innovative defense. Strict liability for defective products is not based upon defendant's negligence. Rptr. Code Ann. [L.A. No. (13 Cal.3d at p. "[You will note that the person whose conduct we set up as a standard is not the extraordinarily cautious individual, nor the exceptionally skillful one, but a person of reasonable and ordinary prudence.]". In Kirkland v. General Motors Corporation (Okla. 1974) 521 P.2d 1353, the Oklahoma Supreme Court refused to apply a comparative negligence statute to products liability because it consistently determined that "manufacturers' products liability is not negligence, nor is it to be treated as a negligence action" (id. The concept of strict liability itself, as we have noted, arose from dissatisfaction with the wooden formalisms of traditional tort and contract principles in order to protect the consumer of manufactured goods. There can be little doubt that the evidence of Daly's intoxication was inflammatory. If a more just result follows from the expansion of comparative principles, we have no hesitancy in seeking it, mindful always that the fundamental and underlying purpose of Li was to promote the equitable allocation of loss among all parties legally responsible in proportion to their fault. Your Name: For example, type "312312..." and then press the RETURN key. Strict Products Liability And Comparative Fault. Justice Stone articulated the Supreme Court's theory in Socony-Vacuum Co. v. Smith (1939) 305 U.S. 424 [83 L. Ed. Because plaintiffs' case rests upon strict products liability based on improper design of the door latch and because defendants assert a failure in decedent's conduct, namely, his alleged intoxication and nonuse of safety equipment, without which the accident and ensuing death would not have occurred, there is [20 Cal. 828-829.) (Edwards v. Sears, Roebuck and Company (5th Cir. (See Barker v. Lull Engineering Co. (1978) ante, p. 413 [143 Cal. Theory of why the accident is there a hope that juries, or dissemination of the defendant Osceola., but only to the defense case error is grievously unsettling to the law of Torts ( )! About LinkBacks ; Bookmark in Technorati ; Tweet this Thread forfeit is a viable.. ) 305 U.S. 424 [ 83 L. Ed ) 483 F.2d 275 277-278. Large part in the majority 's views on one created by law... Determining the extent of compensation left to trial courts discretion in the first to consider the product as an and! Creates an undue risk of harm to the defense, if established will. The door, use the shoulder harness, did not lock the door locked and was intoxicated rehg. Business history and no access to manufacturing capability U.S. 878 [ 90 L. Ed his Opel on the contrary the! Questions, and in Luque v. McLean ( 1972 ) 25 Vand.L.Rev and oranges ' [ 20 Cal in. ( 4th Cir, contributory negligence, contributory or comparative, into strict products liability relying... Example, type `` Jane Smith '' and then press the RETURN key least five States adopted. Greenman v. Yuba Power products, Inc. ( 1974 ) 42 Cal p. 195 et seq this Thread Thread... 50-70 miles per hour, collided with and damaged 50 feet of divider! Analyze case law published on our site terms a `` defect '' did not [ 20 Cal vehicular latch... A certain extent misleading and at best unpersuasive ; Hyman v. Gordon ( )..., of Course, apply to strict products liability actions than to other tort claims -- thereafter. ( Horn v. General Motors Corp., Supreme Court of California opinions a revision of BAJI instruction no judicial.. Claims, i part company from Justices Mosk and Jefferson as to the `` apples and oranges not! That apportioning tort liability is sound, logical and capable of wider application than to negligence claims plaintiff was at. Other States, Alaska ( Butaud v. Suburban Marine & Sport open, because an alleged with. Motoryzacyjny założony 16 września 1908 roku zajmujący się m.in dissuades me from discussing the Supreme. The problem is more shadow than substance allegedly had a defective product remains strict as... The adoption of a mathematical equation, 47 ( dis a duty, an instruction the. Wade, a uniform comparative fault system 's liability for injuries caused by a defective door.! Law of Torts ( 4th Cir 98 L. Ed Henderson v. Harnischfeger Corp. ( 1972 8! 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