Nadine Peterson (plaintiff) slipped and fell in her hotel-room bathtub, resulting in serious injuries. She filed suit against the hotel's owners, hotel management, and the bathtub's manufacturer. Peterson asserted causes of action for negligence and strict liability, arguing that the tub was a defective product because it was too slippery and lacked any anti-skid surface or handrails. Banque Paribas and Harbaugh Hotel Management Corp. (defendants) filed a motion in limine to prevent Peterson from introducing any evidence or making any reference to strict liability in the case, which the trial court granted. The court of appeal issued a writ of mandate directing the trial court to allow Peterson to proceed on her strict-liability cause of action. The defendants appealed to the California Supreme Court.