BILL NUMBER: SB 67	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY   AUGUST 11, 1997
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY   JULY 24, 1997
	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, 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 the illustrative list of common consumer products and
would also specify that the exemption described above does not exempt
the manufacture or sale of tobacco products by tobacco manufacturers
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
against tobacco manufacturers by smokers or others, as specified,
and that such claims shall be determined on their merits.   The
bill would also provide that these provisions shall not be construed
to grant immunity to tobacco industry research organizations. 
   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.
   (b) This section does not exempt the manufacture or sale of
tobacco products by tobacco manufacturers and their successors in
interest from product liability actions, but does exempt the sale or
distribution of tobacco products by any other person, including, but
not limited to, retailers or distributors.
   (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.
   (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.
   (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 against tobacco
manufacturers and their successors in interest 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.  
   (g) This section shall not be construed to grant immunity to a
tobacco industry research organization. 
  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 with respect to the
manufacture or sale of tobacco products by tobacco manufacturers and
their successors in interest.