Before 1963, lawsuits in California by victims of product injuries were either handled under principles of negligence or they were cast as contract claims that drew on “implied warranty” principles.8 For example, if someone bought a loaf of bread from a local bakery, took a bite out of the loaf, and it turned out that a sharp pin hidden in the bread injured the person, the victim could sue the bakery (1) in tort, claiming that the bakery negligently allowed the pin to get into the bread, or (2) in contract, claiming that in providing this sort of bread the bakery breached implied warranties of fitness and merchantability. (More likely, the plaintiff’s lawyer would assert both tort and contract claims.)
Stephen D. Sugarman,
Tobacco Tort Litigation in California: A Better Understanding of Civil Code Section 1714.45,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol38/iss4/3