California Supreme Court

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California Supreme Court adopts “Sophisticated Intermediary Doctrine” in asbestos case

May 23, 2016

The California Supreme Court formally adopted the “sophisticated intermediary doctrine” for suppliers. However, the Court affirmed a jury award against the defendant holding that in this case, it did not satisfy the test to have its duty to warn downstream users discharged.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

April 23, 2014

In their brief, the U.S. Chamber and a broad coalition of business groups urged the California Supreme Court to reject the plaintiff's claim that manufacturers and suppliers may never discharge a duty to warn through a sophisticated intermediary – even where such manufacturers and suppliers have direct relationship with the end-users. The brief emphasized the common-sense principle that the duty to warn of a product's risks should rest with the party in the “best position” to provide an effective warning.

The U.S. Chamber filed the brief jointly with the Coalition for Litigation Justice, Inc., the NFIB Small Business Legal Center and the American Chemistry Council.

Mark A. Behrens and Christopher E. Appel of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP represented the U.S. Chamber as co-counsel to the National Chamber Litigation Center.

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