Krammes v. Zimmer, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96954 (M.D. Pa. July 24, 2015)

Court holds that Tincher is inapplicable to strict liability claims involving medical devices and that manufacturing and design defect claims are barred by Comment k of the Second Restatement.

The plaintiff brought this product liability action against the manufacturer of an artificial knee replacement system asserting claims for manufacturing and design defect. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by Comment k of the Second Restatement. The plaintiff countered by arguing that the duel analysis approach to product liability claims set forth by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Tincher is equally applicable to medical device cases. In rejecting the plaintiff’s argument, the court found that Tincher “[d]id not change the existing jurisprudence concerning strict liability with respect to prescription drugs and medical devices.” Further, in addressing an apparent split in authority among federal district courts applying Pennsylvania law, the court held that Comment k applies equally to design defect and manufacturing defect claims in cases involving medical devices.

Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2015

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