Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tincher Decision Applied Retroactively

In Amato v. Bell & Gossett, 2015 Pa. Super. 83 (April 17, 2015 Lazarus, Panella, Jenkins, J.J.)(Op. by Lazarus, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the Tincher products liability decision, in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the Restatement (Second) of Torts analysis should still be utilized in such cases, should be applied retroactively to trials conducted before Tincher was decided.

This decision is also notable in its holding that the principles announced in Tincher, namely that the question of whether a product is unreasonably dangerous is to be decided by the jury, are applicable to warning defect claims in Pennsylvania.
On another products liability issue addressed in this case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court declined to adopt the "sophisticated-user" defense.

The Amato court also addressed the single satisfaction doctrine and reaffirmed the rule that a plaintiff’s damages need not be offset by amounts previously received by a plaintiff in settlement from parties who were never made a party to the lawsuit at issue.
Anyone wishing to review this decision online may click this LINK

I send thanks to Attorney Ken Newman of the Pittsburgh office of Thomas, Thomas & Hafer for advising about this case. I also send thanks to Attorney James Beck of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention.  Please be sure to check out Attorney Beck’s excellent blog entitled the Drug and Device Law Blog HERE.

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