Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Superior Court Addresses Post-Tincher Issues

In its recent decision in the case of Renninger v. A&R Machine Shop, 1896 WDA 2015 (Pa.Super. April 11, 2017 Lazarus, Stabile, Strassburger, J.J.)(Op. by Stabile), the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a defense verdict in one of the first Post-Tincher product liability cases to go up the appellate laddert.

In its Opinion, the court rejected a plaintiff’s narrow reading of the Tincher, writing, as follows:
“Appellants take a very narrow reading of Tincher, seemingly concluding that it overruled Azzarello but did little else.  Even a cursory reading of Tincher belies that argument. . . .  The Tincher Court did anticipate that its holding would have significant ripple effects to be addressed case by case as they arise.”

The Superior Court also noted that, after Tincher, it did not consider itself bound by pre-Tincher precedent:
“Ordinarily, this Court is bound by Supreme Court precedent, as well as the published decisions of prior en banc and three-judge panels of this Court. In the wake of Tincher, however, the bench and bar must assess the Tincher opinion’s implications for a large body of post-Azzarello and pre-Tincher case law.”

Anyone wishing to review this decision may click this LINK. 

I send thanks to Attorney James Beck of the Philadelphia Office of the Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention.

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