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PA product liability case gets second chance at trial

Few lawsuits ever get tried twice. For one Pennsylvania man, he is one the few who gets a second chance at trial after his leg was crushed by a lift table. The man is seeking damages resulting from the injury. He alleged that the table was unsafe due to its lack of warning lights or alarms. A recent case set a new precedent, which has called for its ability to be re-tried.

The Supreme Court's recent ruling in, Tincher v. Omega Flex, redefined the test for whether a product is defective. Since the specific outcome of the case weighs so heavily on a question of fact, the case is able to be retried with the new test for defectiveness.

The product that crushed the Pennsylvania man's leg is governed under strict liability laws, which are generally tougher to seek damages against because they are products that are considered to be inherently dangerous. However, it is not impossible to win a personal injury lawsuit in which a product governed by strict liability is involved.

With the new test developed in Tincher, it is a risk utility test that is a mechanism that determines if a product is defective. This is determined by whether the probability and seriousness of harm it could cause outweighs the precautions taken.

In other words, was it easier and safer to install warning lights and sounds than for it to risk causing injury? The re-trial will tackle this question in depth.

This case centers on whether a design defect unnecessarily caused serious injury to a Pennsylvania man's leg and overall health. For this man, it was a life-changing event, and it is likely there are challenges he has faced that we are not aware of, due to his injury. Product liability cases seek to gain damages from a negligent or responsible party. In this case, the manufacture and designer of the lift table will go on trial to determine if they were at fault.

Source: The Legal Intelligencer, "Post 'Tincher' Federal Products Case gets Second Chance," P.J. D'Azzunio, Sept. 9, 2016

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