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Khan v. Shiley Inc.

Court of Appeal of California
266 Cal. Rptr. 106 (1990)


Judy Khan (plaintiff) had a valve manufactured by Shiley Incorporated (Shiley) (defendant) inserted into her heart. Less than two years later, Shiley recalled the valve, because it was prone to fracturing, which caused death to the user. A second open-heart surgery to remove Khan’s valve was deemed more dangerous than simply leaving the valve in place. Prior to the insertion of the valve, Khan had not been warned that the valve might fracture. After the recall, Khan lived in constant fear that she could die at anytime if the valve fractured inside of her. Khan eventually brought a products-liability suit against Shiley, seeking to recover damages for emotional distress. The trial court granted Shiley’s motion for summary judgment, finding that there was no indication that Khan’s valve, specifically, would fail and that Khan’s emotional-distress complaint was thus speculative and premature. Khan appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Sonenshine, J.)

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