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Kennedy v. Southern California Edison Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
219 F.3d 988 (9th Cir. 2000)


Facts

Kennedy (plaintiff) brought a wrongful death suit against Southern California Edison Co. (SCEC) (defendant), seeking to recover for the death of his wife. Kennedy claimed that her death was due to cancer caused by nuclear radiation from nuclear rods that SCEC manufactured. In such cases, the proper jury instructions must state that a plaintiff must show that exposure to radiation from the defendant’s product in reasonable medical probability was a substantial factor contributing to the decedent’s risk of developing cancer. However, the jury instructions that Kennedy proposed and that the court adopted stated that Kennedy must show that exposure to radiation from SCEC’s product in reasonable medical probability contributed to his wife’s risk of developing cancer. The jury found in favor of SCEC. Kennedy appealed based on the jury instructions.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hawkins, J.)

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