California Court of Appeal Ruling Eliminates Strict Liability Standard for Supplier of Chinese Building Products

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A California Court of Appeal ruling denies Acqua Vista Homeowners Association's claim against supplier of defective Chinese cast iron pipe.

On January 26, 2017, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One, issued a 51 page ruling in Acqua Vista Homeowners Association v. MWI, Inc., D068406 (San Diego Superior Court No. 37-2009-00104348-CU-CD-CTL) which eliminated strict liability for defective building products in California. The product at issue was cast iron pipe manufactured in China. After trial in this case, a jury awarded in excess of 26 million dollars in damages caused by this defective Chinese cast iron pipe.

The California Court of Appeal ruled that the USA developers, builders, and consumers/homeowners would need to establish “negligence” as a condition of recovery. In this case, however, the Chinese company could not be located.

This ruling is disturbing to Jean Wiebusch, homeowner and member of Plaintiff Acqua Vista. "This ruling means that inferior foreign building products which are manufactured and shipped to the United States for use in construction, as they were in my Acqua Vista home, can be bought and sold with virtually no liability, to the detriment of American made products."

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Jean Wiebusch
Member of Plaintiff Acqua Vista
+1 6196968678
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