BILL NUMBER: SB 67	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY   JUNE 19, 1997
	AMENDED IN SENATE   APRIL 16, 1997
	AMENDED IN SENATE   FEBRUARY 14, 1997

INTRODUCED BY  Senator Kopp
   (Principal coauthor:  Senator Thompson)
    (Principal coauthor:  Assembly Member Shelley) 
   (Coauthors:  Senators Burton,  Calderon,  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.  
   Existing law also states that these provisions do not apply to
actions brought by a public entity in specified cases to recover the
value of benefits provided to individuals injured by a
tobacco-related illness caused by the tortious conduct of a tobacco
company, as specified. 
   This bill would  revise these provisions.  The bill would
 delete tobacco from  that   the 
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.   
   The bill also would make a related legislative declaration. 
   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.   

  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  ; and 
 . 
   (2) The product is a common consumer product intended for personal
consumption, such as sugar, castor oil, alcohol,  tobacco,
 and butter, as identified in comment i to Section 402A of
the Restatement (Second) of Torts.
   (b)  This section does not exempt tobacco products from
product liability actions.
   (c)  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)  
   (d)  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)  
   (e)  This section does not apply to, and never applied to, an
action brought by a public entity to recover the value of benefits
provided to individuals injured by a tobacco-related illness caused
by the tortious conduct of a tobacco company or its successor in
interest, including, but not limited to, an action brought pursuant
to Section 14124.71 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.  In such an
action brought by a public entity, the fact that the injured
individual's claim against the defendant may be barred by  a
prior version of  this section shall not be a defense.  This
subdivision does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of,
existing law relating to tobacco products.  
   (f) It is the intention of the Legislature in enacting the
amendments to subdivisions (a) and (b) of 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.   
  SEC. 2.  The Legislature hereby finds and declares that to the
extent that the common law rules as to product liability actions with
respect to tobacco were superseded by the version of Section 1714.45
of the Civil Code added by Chapter 1498 of the Statutes of 1987,
this act restores those common law rules.