Washington Law Review


Plaintiff Cronin was injured when the bread delivery truck he was driving for his employer collided with another vehicle. An aluminum safety hasp designed to hold the truck's bread racks in place failed during the collision; as a result, plaintiff was pushed forward through the windshield of the truck and injured seriously. Plaintiff's expert witness testified that the hasp was unusually weak because of bubbles and organic matter in the metal, that the hasp would have withstood the forces exerted by the racks during the collision had it not been flawed, and that the flaws and weakness of the metal were present at the time of manufacture, not caused by fatigue during use. Cronin obtained judgment against defendant Olson Corporation, original seller of the assembled bread truck, on the basis of strict liability in tort. Olson sought reversal on the ground that the trial court had refused to require Cronin to prove that the truck's defective condition (due to the faulty safety hasp) made it "unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer."' The California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed, holding in Cronin v. J. B. E. Olson Corp. that the manufacturer is strictly liable in tort for all injuries proximately caused by its defective products; the defect need not make the product unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer.

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