Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Recent Post-Tincher Decision of Note Out of the Western District

In the Western Federal District Court case of Rapchak v. Haldex Brake Products Corp., No. 2:13-CV-1307 2016 WL 1019534 (W.D. Pa. March 15, 2016 McVerry, J.), the court denied a defendant’s summary judgment motion in a Post-Tincher products liability case.

This matter arose out of a fatal incident involving a Plaintiff who was performing maintenance under his motorhome when the vehicle descended upon him.

The court concluded that the central question of whether adding a filter to an air flow system would have made the product harder to use because the filter would have to be changed too often was a question for the jury to determine. 

The court in Rapchak referred to the Wade factors for risk/utility and an “ordinary consumer” test for consumer expectation. 

Also, in a footnote, the court in Rapchack described one of Tincher’s “principal impacts” as being the elimination of the Azzarello negligence/strict liability dichotomy and the other being that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined to adopt the Restatement (Third) of Torts relative to Pennsylvania Products Liability claims.  See n. 15.

Anyone wishing to review this case may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney James Beck of the Philadelphia office of Reed Smith, and the main blogger for the Drug and Device Law Blog  for bringing this case to my attention.

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