The California Supreme Court, in the novel and unprecedented case of Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories, eliminated the plaintiffs burden of identification of a negligent party, and thus the causation requirement, in a multiple party tort action. In the course of this decision, the court adopted the "market share" theory of liability which dictated in Sindell that nonidentifiable defendant-manufacturers of the generic drug DES would be liable for the damages in proportion to their share of business in the market. The author thoroughly examines various theories of recovery, such as "alternative liability," "concert of action" and "enterprise liability," which the court employed in their formulation of the 'market share" theory. While in agreement with this decision, the author analyzes the majority and dissenting opinions and notes the benefits and shortcomings of this most controversial development in California tort law.
N. Denise Taylor
California Expands Tort Liability under the Novel Market Share Theory: Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories,
8 Pepp. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/plr/vol8/iss4/4