California Supreme Court activity for the week of December 21, 2009

The California Supreme Court held its (usually) weekly conference on December 23, 2009.  The only notable event I noticed was:

  • A Petition for Review was granted in O'Neil v. Crane Company.  O'Neil is a toxic tort decision that concerns manufacturer liability when a non-dangerous component is incorporated into a package or system that is dangerous.  In this case, the manufacturer supplies valves and pumps that were covered with an asbestos lagging/insulation.  The Court of Appeal concluded that the component part defense did not apply when the parts were designed to be incorporated into a system that was not altered by the customer and had but one intended use.  The decision conflicts with a recent opinion in Taylor v. Elliott Turbomachinery Co., 171 Cal. App. 4th 564 (2009).