BILL NUMBER: SB 67	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE   APRIL 16, 1997
	AMENDED IN SENATE   FEBRUARY 14, 1997

INTRODUCED BY  Senator Kopp
   (Principal coauthor: Senator Thompson)
    (Coauthor:  Senator Vasconcellos) 
    (Coauthors:  Senators Burton, Lockyer, and Vasconcellos)

   (Coauthors:  Assembly Members Alquist, Aroner, Caldera, Keeley,
Knox, Kuehl, Lempert, Mazzoni, Napolitano, Perata, Shelley, Thomson,
and Wayne)

                        DECEMBER 11, 1996

   An act to amend Section 1714.45 of the Civil Code, relating to
product liability.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 67, as amended, Kopp.  Product liability actions:  tobacco.
   Existing law exempts a manufacturer or seller from liability in a
product liability action if (1) the product is inherently unsafe and
is known to be unsafe by the ordinary consumer, as specified, and (2)
the product is a common consumer product intended for personal
consumption, such as sugar, castor oil, alcohol, tobacco, and butter,
as specified.
   This bill would delete tobacco from that illustrative list of
common consumer products and would also specify that the exemption
described above does not exempt tobacco products from product
liability actions.  This bill would also declare that there is no
statutory bar to, or immunity from, tobacco-related personal injury,
wrongful death, or other tort claims by smokers or others, as
specified, and that such claims shall be determined on their merits.

   Vote:  majority.  Appropriation:  no.  Fiscal committee:  no.
State-mandated local program:  no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


  SECTION 1.  Section 1714.45 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
   1714.45.  (a) In a product liability action, a manufacturer or
seller shall not be liable if both of the following apply:
   (1) The product is inherently unsafe and the product is known to
be unsafe by the ordinary consumer who consumes the product with the
ordinary knowledge common to the community.
   (2) The product is a common consumer product intended for personal
consumption, such as sugar, castor oil, alcohol, and butter, as
identified in comment i to Section 402A of the Restatement (Second)
of Torts.
   (3) This section does not exempt tobacco products from product
liability actions.
   (b) For purposes of this section, the term "product liability
action" means any action for injury or death caused by a product,
except that the term does not include an action based on a
manufacturing defect or breach of an express warranty.
   (c) This section is intended to be declarative of and does not
alter or amend existing California law, including Cronin v. J.B.E.
Olson Corp., (1972) 8 Cal. 3d 121, and shall apply to all product
liability actions pending on, or commenced after, January 1, 1988.

   (d) It is the intention of the Legislature in enacting the
amendments to this section adopted at the 1997-98 Regular Session to
declare that there exists no statutory bar to, or immunity from,
tobacco-related personal injury, wrongful death, or other tort claims
by California smokers or others who have suffered or incurred
injuries, damages, or costs arising from the promotion, marketing,
sale, or consumption of tobacco products.  It is also the intention
of the Legislature to clarify that such claims which were or are
brought shall be determined on their merits, without the imposition
of any claim of statutory bar or categorical defense.