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Hymowitz v. Eli Lilly & Co.

73 N.Y.2d 487 (1989)

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Hymowitz v. Eli Lilly & Co.

Court of Appeals of New York

73 N.Y.2d 487 (1989)

Facts

Around 300 companies manufactured and marketed the drug DES for use by pregnant women to prevent miscarriages. Many years later, female children of mothers who took DES began to develop vaginal cancer and other complications. Because of the time lapse, many mothers found it impossible to remember which company manufactured the particular DES pill that she took. Because of this, DES daughters found it difficult to prove which manufacturers were responsible for their injuries. In response, the New York legislature enacted a bill to revive DES actions barred by the statute of limitations. In this case, Hymowitz (plaintiff) sued Eli Lilly and other manufacturers of DES (defendants) for her injuries caused by DES. Eli Lilly moved for summary judgment on the ground that Hymowitz failed to prove which manufacturer produced the DES that caused the injury in question. The trial court denied the motion, and the appellate court affirmed the decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wachtler, C.J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Mollen, J.)

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