Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Federal Middle District Judge A. Richard Caputo Again Favors Restatement (Third) in Products Cases

In his recent decision in the case of Lynch v. Gander Mountain Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 121322 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 27, 2013 Caputo, J.), Judge A. Richard Caputo addressed the ongoing issue of whether the Restatement (Second) or (Third) should be applied in Pennsylvania products liability cases.

In the end, the court granted the defendant's Motion to dismiss in part and denied it in part. By way of background, the plaintiff brought a products liability action against various defendants after having been burned by using a product known as Fire Gel in a fire pot.

On the central issue, Judge Caputo found that because the Third Restatement of Torts should be applied, the defendant's motion to dismiss a count in plaintiff’s Complaint asserting strict liability under Restatement Second §402A was granted. 

However, the court separately found that the Plaintiff had sufficiently stated a claim for breach of warranty of merchantability and breach of warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.  As such, the defendant's motion to dismiss those counts were denied.

Anyone wishing to review Judge Caputo's decision in the Lynch case may click this LINK.

Tort Talkers may recall from a previous blog post that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has accepted an appeal in the case of Tincher v. Omega Flex, No. 842 MAL 2012 (Pa. March 26, 2013) to specifically address the issue of whether the Restatement (Second) or the Restatement (Third) standards govern Pennsylvania products liability cases.  Click this LINK to view that Order.

Click HERE to review the Tort Talk "Products Liability Restatement Scorecard," which outlines a number of recent cases on the debate over whether the Restatement (Second) or (Third) should be utilized in Pennsylvania strict liability matters.  Note that that page can always be viewed by going to Tort Talk and scrolling down the right hand column and clicking on "Products Liability Restatement Scorecard."

I send thanks to Attorney James Beck of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm and writer of the excellent DRUG AND DEVICE LAW BLOG for bringing this Lynch case to my attention.

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