Spector v. K-Mart Corporation
Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division
471 N.Y.S.2d 711 (1984)
Douglas Spector (plaintiff) purchased two prescription drugs, Selacryn and Colchicine, from K-Mart Corporation (defendant) over a five-month period in 1979. Spector’s use of the drugs allegedly caused harmful effects. In January 1982, SmithKline Beckman Corporation (SmithKline) (third-party defendant), the manufacturer of Selacryn, paid Spector $40,000 in settlement. In exchange, Spector executed a general release that applied to SmithKline and “all other persons, firms, or corporations.” The instrument purported to release SmithKline and such other entities from all liability arising from Spector’s use of Selacryn, including “liability for contribution and/or indemnity.” In October 1982, Spector sued K-Mart in a New York state court for negligence, strict products liability, and breach of warranty. K-Mart brought SmithKline into the suit as a third-party defendant, asserting that SmithKline had duties of indemnification or contribution to K-Mart in the event of its liability. SmithKline moved to dismiss K-Mart’s third-party complaint on the ground that Spector’s release effectively applied to K-Mart in addition to SmithKline. The court denied SmithKline’s motion. SmithKline appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Memorandum decision)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.