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Feldman Shepherd Hosts Sold-Out Tincher Products Liability CLE

January 27, 2014

In January, Feldman Shepherd produced a sold-out products liability CLE titled “A Whole New World? Product Liability Law in Pennsylvania After Tincher.”

Alan Feldman presented “The History and Development Of Pennsylvania Products Liability Law”. He reviewed Pennsylvania products liability law beginning with Webb v. Zern and the adoption of §402A of the Restatement (2d) of Torts; the landmark Azzarello decision; intended use v. foreseeable use; manufacturer as the “guarantor” of a product’s safety; and the “no negligence in strict products liability” dichotomy.

Together with Daniel Mann, Feldman also presented “Consumer Expectations and Risk/Utility — Pleading and Proving a Strict Products Liability Case after Tincher”. Daniel and Alan discussed the pleading and proof requirements for the new tests adopted by Tincher; what can be learned from a comparable California law; the role of expert witnesses in consumer expectations cases; and jury instructions in a post-Tincher claim.

Edward Goldis spoke on “Jury Instructions in the Post-Tincher Products Liability Case”, and defense attorney William Ricci presented “A Defense Perspective on the Consequences of Tincher”.

A roundtable panel followed discussing questions raised by Tincher, including:

  • What evidence will be admissible post-Tincher?
  • What defenses are available?
  • Will suppliers be liable for the “foreseeable” or “intended” use of a product?
  • Will standards, codes and regulations be admissible?
  • Can existing precedent be relied upon or do we have a “tabula rasa” in strict product liability cases?

The program closed with an ethics hour by Roberta Pichini and Ezra Wohlgelernter who played the role of a defense lawyer to Pichini’s disheveled plaintiffs’ attorney in a comedic presentation of “Avoiding Pitfalls in Client Representation, i.e., ‘Why do these things always happen to me?’”.  A short Q&A and audience discussion followed.