In a product liability case where a manufacturer is defending a claim that a product it designed was defective and the cause of a plaintiff’s injury, the manufacturer may attempt to introduce evidence at trial showing its product was manufactured in accordance with applicable industry standards.  Proof that the product was designed in accordance with industry standards, in some instances, can establish that the product was built with the latest technological advancements being used by other manufacturers in the marketplace.
Continue Reading Despite Tincher, Pennsylvania Superior Court Determines “Industry Standards” Is Still Not a Viable Defense to Product Liability Claims

In Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc., 104 A. 2d 328 (Pa. 2014), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court cast aside more than 35 years of precedent when it reformulated the standards determining the circumstances under which a product is considered defective within the context of the Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 402 (A). From the court’s decision in Azzarello v. Black Bros. Co., 391 A. 2d 1020 (Pa. 1978) until Tincher, a product defect existed if the product lacked any feature necessary for it to safely perform its intended function or had any condition that rendered it unsafe for its intended use. Tincher rejected these criteria, holding instead that a plaintiff could prove the existence of a product defect by showing that (1) the danger posed by the product is unknowable and unacceptable to the ordinary consumer or (2) a reasonable person would conclude that the probability and seriousness of harm caused by the product outweigh the burden or costs of taking precautions.

Continue Reading Tincher Returns to Blow Away Some of Its Own Smoke