Market Share Liability for DES (Diethylstilbestrol) Injury

A New High Water Mark in Tort Law: Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories

Nebraska university logo image
University of Nebraska College of Law review, 1981

Abstract

In Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories, the California Supreme Court discussed intra-industry liability for adverse effects of drugs and adopted the market share liability theory for DES injuries. Although the majority purported to shift only the burden of proving causation from the plaintiff to the defendants, the effect of its adopting the intra-industry joint liability concept (or, more specifically, the market share doctrine) is to guarantee that the plaintiff will prevail on the causation issue. By departing from traditional tort doctrine and effectively eliminating causation as an issue, “‘[m]arket share’ liability thus represents a new high water mark in tort law.” This Note analyzes Sindell and the various approaches taken to overcome the obstacle of product identification in DES cases. In addition, it examines the legal, social, and economic ramifications of intra-industry joint liability.

Sources
  • Market Share Liability for DES (Diethylstilbestrol) Injury: A New High Water Mark in Tort Law: Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories, 26 Cal. 3d 588, 607 P.2d 924, 163 Cal. Rptr. 132, cert. denied, 101 S. Ct. 285 (1980), Barbara J. Koperski, University of Nebraska College of Law.
  • Full text, Nebraska Law Review, Volume 60 | Issue 2 Article 9, 1981
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Have your say ! Share your views