June 28, 2019

Does Pennsylvania Recognize Strict Liability Claims Against Medical Device Manufacturers? A Pennsylvania federal court calls the question.

Philadelphia associate Rebecca Trela reported on a recent federal court opinion considering whether strict liability–manufacturing defect claims can be brought against Pennsylvania medical device manufacturers in a June 28, 2019, blog posting in Drinker Biddle on Products.

Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 402A, Comment k carves out an exception to traditional strict product liability claims for “unavoidably unsafe products,” or those that bear inherent risks, such as medicines prescribed by a doctor. What is unclear is whether that exemption extends to manufacturers of prescription medical devices, specifically regarding manufacturing defect claims.  On June 25, 2019, Judge Robreno of the U.S.D.C. Eastern District of Pennsylvania referred the question to the Third Circuit.

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