Residential Fire Systems, Inc. vs. The Viking Corporation

The demurrer to first amended complaint by defendants The Viking Corporation, Viking Group, Inc., and Supply Network, Inc. dba Viking SupplyNet (collectively, defendants) is OVERRULED as to the first cause of action for negligence and seventh cause of action for declaratory relief, and SUSTAINED with 10 days leave to amend as to the second cause of action for strict products liability.

First cause of action for negligence ? the economic loss rule does not bar this claim as plaintiff Residential Fire Systems, Inc. (plaintiff) has adequately alleged the subject sprinkler systems caused damage to property other than the sprinklers themselves and that plaintiff is responsible for this damage.? (See FAC at ?? 11, 13; Jimenez v. Superior Court (2002) 29 Cal.4th 473, 483.)? Plaintiff has also adequately alleged the existence of an ordinary duty of care in the manufacture and design of the subject sprinklers, the breach of which has caused plaintiff injury in fact, conferring plaintiff with standing to bring this claim.? (See FAC at ?? 16-22; Angelucci v. Century Supper Club (2007) 41 Cal.4th 160, 175 [in general terms, a plaintiff has standing to bring a cause of action when the plaintiff is able to allege an injury, i.e., some ?invasion of the plaintiff?s legally protected interests?].)

Second cause of action for strict products liability ? strict products liability does not apply as between parties to a purely commercial transaction.? (See Haning, et al., Cal. Practice Guide: Personal Injury (The Rutter Group 2015) Ch. 2(II)-D ? 1491, citing Kaiser Steel Corp. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp. (1975) 55 Cal.App.3d 737, 748 [steel mill operator not entitled to strict liability recovery against manufacturer of defective motor that caused temporary shutdown of mill], superseded by statute on other grounds as stated in Billings v. Edwards (1981) 120 Cal.App.3d 238, 243-244; FAC at ?? 8-9.)

Seventh cause of action for declaratory relief ? ?[a] demurrer shall distinctly specify the grounds upon which any of the objections to the complaint, cross-complaint, or answer are taken.? Unless it does so, it may be disregarded.?? (Code Civ. Proc., ? 430.60; Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1320, subd. (a).)

Moving parties to give notice.