In Shepard v. Superior Court, the California Court of Appeals held that a party directly witnessing injury to a close relative could recover damages for resulting mental distress in a strict products liability action. By recognizing a duty to avoid infliction of emotional distress in a products liability case, Shepard elevated a manufacturer's duty in strict liability to the level recently recognized in a negligence action. The court correctly reasoned that a cause of action for mental distress in products liability was consistent with economic realities of modern society and the purposes behind products liability.
G. Scott Greenburg, Shepard v. Superior Court—Recovery for Mental Distress in a Products Liability Action, 2 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 385 (1979).