In Calif., Clarifying The Sophisticated User Defense

Law360 (December 16, 2010, 3:11 PM EST) -- The California Supreme Court’s recent decision in Stewart v. Union Carbide Corp. [2010 DJAR 17352] on Nov. 16, 2010, clarifies the scope and application of three distinct but closely related product liability defenses: the “sophisticated user,” the “sophisticated intermediary” and the “bulk supplier” defenses. When properly applied, each can provide a complete defense to design defect “failure to warn” claims under California’s strict product liability law.

In Stewart v. Union Carbide, the defendant Union Carbide attempted to use a “sophisticated purchaser” defense for the failure to...
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