California Supreme Court

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April 07, 2008

The California Supreme Court joined other federal and state courts in holding that manufacturers have no duty to warn a “sophisticated user” about the risks of using the manufacturer’s products. According to the Court’s decision, a plaintiff is a “sophisticated user” if, as a result of membership in a particular trade or profession, he or she knows or should have known at the time of the accident about the risk of harm from a product. The court held that the sophisticated user analysis applies to both negligence and strict liability actions.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief regarding availability of the sophisticated user defense under California Law

September 14, 2006

The California Supreme Court granted review to consider whether California law recognizes a sophisticated user defense in cases where the plaintiffs allege that the defendant failed to exercise its duty to warn. Describing the laws of the various states which have confronted this question and found such a defense, NCLC argued that companies should not be held liable for failing to warn product users who are, by reason of experience or education, quite able to recognize the dangers involved.

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