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Whether product is in “defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer” is question of fact ordinarily reserved for fact finder.

April 1, 2017
High v. Pennsy Supply, Inc., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 19, 2017 PA Super 10, CCH Prod. Liab. Rep. P19,981 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2017)

The plaintiffs in this strict product liability action asserted claims against a concrete distributor alleging, in part, that the dangers of the product were not commonly known to the average consumer. On appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment for the defendant. Citing Tincher, the Superior Court explained, “The critical inquiry in affixing liability is whether a product is ‘defective,’” which, in turn, “depends upon whether that product is ‘unreasonably dangerous.’” The Superior Court reaffirmed that this is a question of fact that is to be “removed from the jury’s consideration only where it is clear that reasonable minds could not differ on the issue.” Citing case law from other jurisdictions, the Superior Court found that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether an ordinary consumer would reasonably anticipate the subject danger and attendant risks of the subject product. Therefore, “[t]he determination of whether the [product] was in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the consumer should have been left to the jury to decide . . . .”


Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2017

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