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April 2013

Gordon & Rees's Jeff Coons Discusses Sophisticated User Doctrine in Defense Comment Magazine

Defense Comment, an Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada magazine, published an article by Gordon & Rees senior counsel Jeff Coons of San Francisco in its Spring 2013 issue.

In the article, titled “Cautious Steps Forward, Discouraging Steps Backward – the Continuing Effort to Utilize the Sophisticated User Defense Established in Johnson v. American Standard,” Coons looked back at the four years since the California Supreme Court adopted the doctrine and analyzed how other courts have refined its elements.

Defendants have used the defense primarily in toxic tort cases, but they “may be able to use the doctrine in other product liability cases as well,” Coons wrote. In the article, he identified the recent decisions that have applied the defense and illustrated the facts that are most likely to result in its successful application.

Coons is a member of Gordon & Rees’s Environmental/Toxic Tort, Green Technology & Climate Change and Employment Practice Groups. He has defended numerous environmental and toxic injury claims involving asbestos, silica, beryllium and other airborne and water-borne contaminants. He has represented multinational building materials companies, plant and related facility premises owners, automobile part manufacturers, and industrial suppliers, among other clients.

 To view the full article, please click here.



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