Pennsylvania Products Liability

The term “product liability” generally refers to the liability of a manufacturer, processor, or nonmanufacturing seller for injury to the person of property of a buyer or third party caused by a product which has been sold. Generally speaking, there are three different types of product liability claims; manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn claims. In Pennsylvania, a plaintiff can bring a cause of action against the manufacturer, seller, or distributor of a product under strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty claims. The attorneys at Picadio Sneath Miller & Norton, P.C. have significant experience defending manufacturers, sellers, and distributors of a variety of products from the time of the initial claim through trial in state and federal courts.

The landscape of products liability law in Pennsylvania is uncertain. We currently have a split of authority with regard to whether the Restatement Second of Torts of the Restatement Third of Torts should be applied substantively in Pennsylvania products liability cases. This rift has existed for quite some time, and the split now is between the state and federal courts, and in some respects between the several federal courts and judges. Over the last two years, the United States Federal Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western District have issued opinions which favor alternatively both the Restatement Second and the Restatement Third in products liability cases. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, has held, so far, that the Restatement Second is to be applied in all strict products liability cases in Pennsylvania. This may change soon, as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is currently evaluating whether to replace the Restatement Second with the Restatement Third in Pennsylvania.

In this climate of uncertainty, our attorneys have been trial counsel for product manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors, and have frequently acted as local counsel to not only guide clients through the procedural complexities of Pennsylvania practice, but to also advise and guide clients through the unpredictable substantive areas of the law which have either changed, are changing, or are up for interpretation.

For more information, contact our lawyers at 412-288-4000 or send our PSMN ® Pittsburgh litigation attorneys an e-mail by completing the contact form on this website.