The California Supreme Court Adopts the 'Sophisticated User' Doctrine

This post was written by Marilyn A. Moberg and James M. Neudecker.

In April 2008, in Johnson v. American Standard, Inc., 2008 WL 878933 (Cal. Apr. 3, 2008), the California Supreme Court unanimously held that a manufacturer is not liable to a sophisticated user of its product for failing to warn of dangers about which the sophisticated user knew or should have known. In recognizing the so-called “sophisticated user doctrine,” California applied sound and reasoned principles that limit manufacturers’ liability for failure to warn.

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