Many readers will recall an article that I recently wrote for Association of Business Trial Lawyers San Diego that discusses the California Supreme Court decision in O’Neil v. Crane Co., in which the court held that a product manufacturer may not be held liable in strict liability or negligence for harm caused by another manufacturer’s product unless the defendant’s own product contributed substantially to the harm, or the defendant participated substantially in creating a harmful combined use of the product.

Well, it appears that not only did the people of Alabama win a National Championship, Alabama consumers were properly handed a victory in the courts.  On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a patient could sue a brand-name company for failing to warn about a drug’s risks even though he had taken a generic version of the product that the company did not make.

Clearly, the conflicts between various state jurisdictions will lead a big fight, most likely in the pharmaceutical context, before the United States Supreme Court for claims that are filed in Federal Court.