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STRICT LIABILITY for Defects in Manufacturing, Design & Warnings.

Strict liability has been imposed for three types of product defects: manufacturing defects, design defects, and “ ‘warning defects. (Anderson v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. (1991) 53 Cal.3d 987, 995.)


A manufacturer is strictly liable in tort when an article he places on the market, knowing that it is to be used without inspection for defects, proves to have a defect that causes injury to a human being.  The purpose of strict products liability is to insure that the costs of injuries resulting from defective products are borne by the manufacturers that put such products on the market rather than by the injured persons who are powerless to protect themselves. Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc. (1963) 59 Cal.2d 57.

Applies to Wholesalers, Distributors and Retailers

Strict liability has been extended to retailers based on the reasoning that, because sellers are an integral part of the production and distribution process, they too should bear the cost of injuries from defective products. Vandermark v. Ford Motor Co. (1964) 61 Cal.2d 256, 262. Everyone in the chain of distribution can be held liable for injuries because the basis for his liability is the marketing and distribution of a defective product. that he has marketed or distributed a defective product, and that product caused the injury. Daly v. General Motors Corp. (1978) 20 Cal.3d  725, 739.

The protections are not limited to injuries to the purchaser, but also extend to bystanders who are hurt. Elmore v. American Motors Corp. (1969) 70 Cal.2d 578.