Market share liability is a legal set of rules that plaintiffs and courts can use against a group of product manufacturers in a product liability case if the origin of the harmful product in question cannot be proven. In such a case, since there is no way of determining which manufacturer provided the fungible product that harmed a person or group of people, the law decrees that all manufacturers in the market must pay a percentage of recompense for damages. Continue reading for an example of a market share liability case, and more about how it applies to product liability cases.
Market Share Liability
Market share liability is rarely used in the court system today. In order for it to apply, four distinct factors must be true about the case: it must be impossible to determine which manufacturer provided the actual product that harmed the actual victim, all manufacturers were active suppliers of the product when the damages occurred, the product must be fungible (the same no matter who made it), and a majority share of the manufacturers of the product must be present as defendants in the lawsuit.
If all four of these factors are true in a product liability case, market share liability could be applied. This of course all depends on individual circumstances, evidences, and varies case to case. It is important to discuss your legal questions regarding personal injury or product liability with a licensed attorney that focuses on your accident case.
The market share doctrine originated in California after a DES case was revealed. Mothers were prescribed a medication called DES that prevented miscarriages. Later, the adult-children of these mothers began to develop reproductive tract cancers, like vaginal tumors, masses, and more. Since it was impossible to determine which drug company provided the DES that was prescribed to their mothers, the courts decided to apportion the liability among all (or most) of the drug companies that manufactured the DES medication at the time the mothers were prescribed to it.
The apportioned share in a market share liability case is not always equal among manufacturers. It is divvied according the percentage of the product they produced and distributed at the time a victim was injured by it. If you or a loved one was injured by a defective product, contact a licensed personal injury lawyer to learn your rights before the statute of limitations runs out. You could be entitled to compensation for your damages and losses.