Monday, June 18, 2018

Summary Judgment Granted in Products Case Based Upon Intended User Analysis

In a decision in the case of Hysick v. Razor United States, No. 1:2015-CV-00745 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 9, 2018 Jones, J.), the court granted in part and denied in part a summary judgment motion in a product’s liability case.  

The court reaffirmed the rule of law that strict liability is imposed only where the product is used by an intended user.

Here, where the Defendant manufacturer’s owner’s manual and warning stated that the product was not for use by children under 12, a 6 year old injured party was deemed not to be an intended user of the product as a matter of law.

The court otherwise held that a manufacturer cannot be held liable for failing to design a product that was safe for use by any reasonably foreseeable user.   Rather, only intended users are relevant to the strict liability analysis. 

The court additionally noted that no reasonable consumer would believe that a 6 year old was an intended user of a product that was fully equipped with explicit age recommendations for use of the product by much older children.  

The court otherwise did note that a claim for breach of warranty extend beyond the intended users of a product.   The court also noted that foreseeable unintended users might have negligence claims to present as well.

I do not have a copy of this case to provide.

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

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