Law360 reported on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to take up Sullivan v. Werner Company to address whether a trial court ruling barring jurors in a products liability case from hearing industry and governmental safety standards went against the high court’s Tincher v. Omega Flex decision in 2014, which ruled that strict liability can be established regardless of whether a seller exercised all possible care in designing or selling a product.
Attorney Jeffrey Laffey said, “There has been some ambiguity in the law in the eight years since Tincher was released. Clarity of the Tincher opinion and the reasoning behind it as it relates to this specific issue is certainly needed. Once and for all let’s get this issue resolved.”
Laffey also said the case could have a “dramatic impact” and “important consequences” on product liability law in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court opinion originally upheld a $2.5 million verdict obtained on behalf of a union carpenter who sustained serious injuries 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.
Read the full article here: Pa. Justices To Weigh ‘Industry Standard’ As Defect Defense (subscription required)