Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories,

26 Cal.3d 588, 163 Cal.Rptr 132, 607 P.2d 924 (1980)

Facts

Sindell (P) claimed that she was hurt because her mother took the drug DES to prevent miscarriage. DES can cause cancerous and precancerous growths on women exposed to the drug before birth. These growths are latent for about ten years before their presence is known. P sued Abbott (D) and several other manufacturers of DES on behalf of herself and others. D and the other manufacturers demurred. Their demurrer was sustained without leave to amend because P could not identify the particular defendant that had manufactured the offending drug. There were about 200 that manufactured DES, but only eleven defendants were joined at trial. P appealed.