Product liability and mass torts partner Bruce Jones and counsel Christian Piccolo coauthored an article for The Legal Intelligencer that discusses the shift in focus of products liability claims following a recent aviation case from the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Jones and Piccolo explain that manufacturers are offering training and educational programs on complex medical devices as medical technology advances. With this training and education come new theories of liability, shifting from a focus on the quality of the product to examining the quality of the training.
In Grady v. Aero-Tech Services, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that Pennsylvania does not recognize claims for educational malpractice, even when dealing with training in an inherently dangerous activity. The authors note the public policy factors for this decision and how these policy factors would apply with equal force in any case alleging a failure to train with respect to medical devices.
The authors add that beyond Grady, “educational malpractice” claims against manufacturers of Class III medical devices would also be subject to preemption under the Medical Device Amendments of 1976.