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April 21, 2022

Third Circuit Confirms That Alleged Defect in “Simple” Component of More Complex System Must Be Proven by Expert Testimony When Facts Surrounding Defect Claim Are Beyond Common Knowledge

Faegre Drinker on Products Blog

A plaintiff who alleges that a product is defective usually has to offer expert testimony in support of that allegation.  This should come as no surprise for complex products – if it took a team of scientists and engineers to bring the product to market, then a lay jury should not be asked to evaluate an alleged defect in that product without the aid of expert testimony.  But what if a plaintiff alleges a defect in the design of a relatively simple, more familiar component of a complex product?  The Third Circuit recently addressed that question in an opinion that, although nonprecedential and in some respects peculiar to New Jersey law, illustrates how a court should approach the issue.

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