Ohio Supreme Court Ends Market-Share Liability Case
June 20, 2007
The Ohio Supreme Court’s action comes after two other state’s highest courts, Missouri and New Jersey, rejected lawsuits last week filed under another theory, public nuisance, against the defendants.
“For nearly two decades of litigation, plaintiffs have moved from legal theory to legal theory, and venue to venue, in an attempt to place the responsibility for poorly maintained properties on the former manufacturers of lead paint,” said Bonnie J. Campbell, former Attorney General of Iowa and spokesperson for defendants.
“The market share theory is an attempt to evade the most basic requirements of a product liability suit – that the plaintiff show who made the product that allegedly caused harm,” Campbell said.
The Ohio Supreme Court’s action ended a case filed in 1992 on behalf of eight individual plaintiffs. The plaintiffs brought the case under the theory of market share liability, which seeks to relieve plaintiffs of the obligation to prove that the defendant’s product caused the plaintiff's alleged harm. The theory instead seeks to hold manufacturers of the type of product alleged to have caused harm liable for a percentage of the plaintiff’s damages equal to the defendant’s claimed share of the relevant market at the relevant time.
On January 25, 2007, the Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of defendants. In its decision, the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Appellate District in the County of Cuyahoga, relied on a 1998 Ohio Supreme Court ruling that said: “In Ohio market-share liability is not an available theory of recovery in a products liability action.”
On March 14, 2007, plaintiffs filed a petition with the Ohio Supreme Court seeking discretionary review of the Court of Appeals decision. The Ohio Supreme Court today declined to review the lower court decision, effectively ending this case.
This Site Is Sponsored By Companies That Are Involved in Lead Pigment Litigation