The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted allocatur in two asbestos cases, Amato v. Crane Co.and Vinciguerra v. Crane Co., to answer the question of whether a jury should decide if a product is unreasonably dangerous. The question as framed by the PA Supreme Court is whether under the recent Pennsylvania decision of Tincher, a Defendant in a strict liability claim based on failure to warn has a right to have the jury determine whether its product was unreasonably dangerous. The Tincher matter, which was decided by the Court in 2014, announced a new standard of proof for strict liability claims. The Court in that matter held that the issue of whether a product is unreasonably dangerous is one for the fact finder. Plaintiffs’ counsel have continually argued that Tincher decision is only applicable to design defect claims, not failure to warn claims. The Tincher decision has changed the landscape in product liability actions. We are hopeful the Court will provide clarity and a framework for jury instructions in a failure to warn case with its ruling in these cases.
We will continue to monitor this appeal and provide an update once the Court renders its decision. If you would like additional information concerning this matter, please contact Theresa M. Mullaney at firstname.lastname@example.org.