Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Barker v. Lull Engineering Co.

Supreme Court of California
573 P.2d 443 (Cal. 1978)



Ray Barker (plaintiff) was employed as an operator of a high-lift loader at a construction site at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The loader was manufactured by Lull Engineering Co. (Lull) (defendant) and leased to Barker’s employer by George M. Philpott Co., Inc. (Philpott) (defendant). At the time he was using the loader, Barker was relatively inexperienced and was using the loader to lift timber in a manner and on terrain for which the machine was not intended. Barker was injured when he lost control of the loader and failed to escape falling timber. He brought suit against the defendants on the ground that the loader was defectively designed. Barker argued that the loader should have been equipped with seat belts and other safety mechanisms. However, at trial, it was shown that such devices, if installed, would actually make the loader unsafe. The accident was largely attributed to Barker’s inexperience. The jury entered judgment for Lull and Philpott after they were instructed by the trial judge that “strict liability for a defect in design of a product is based on a finding that the product was unreasonably dangerous for its intended use.” Barker appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Tobriner, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 499,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 499,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial