The Legal Intelligencer reported on the Pennsylvania Superior Court opinion that upheld a $2.5 million verdict obtained on behalf of a union carpenter who sustained serious injuries when he was caused to fall when a scaffold’s platform collapsed. The opinion upheld and affirmed the trial judge’s preclusion of evidence that the design of the scaffold complied with standards issue by the scaffold industry. It is one of the first decisions that has provided guidance since the pivotal decision in Tincher v. Omega Flex, which created new standards by which a plaintiff must prove that a product is defective.

Laffey, Bucci & Kent founder Jeffrey Laffey and attorney Stewart Ryan represented the plaintiffs in Sullivan v. Werner.  

Attorney Jeffrey Laffey said the superior court’s decision “keeps alive and well the Restatement (Second) 402A for the very sound reason that the focus should always be on the product and not the conduct of the manufacturer”.

Michael Sullivan, a union carpenter, was working on a rolling steel scaffold, commonly referred to as a “baker scaffold”, at the Albert Schweitzer Elementary School in Levittown when the scaffolding platform dislodged and collapsed causing him to fall and land on his buttocks, breaking his tailbone. The accident also left Sullivan with two protruding spinal discs, which has prevented his return to work as a union carpenter.

Laffey has achieved multi-million-dollar recoveries on behalf of hundreds of injured union construction workers from all trades – including carpenters, plumbers, electricians, cement masons, ironworkers, laborers, and operating engineers.

Read the full article here: Industry Standards Evidence May Be Excluded From Products Liability Cases, Pa. Appeals Court Rules (subscription required)