Compliance Evidence Not Admissible in Product Defect Cases, Pa. High Court Rules
December 27, 2023
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s highest court has ruled that in defending product defect claims, manufacturers or sellers may not present evidence that their product was designed or manufactured to meet industrywide customs and practices or applicable government standards.
In a Dec. 22 opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded that “compliance evidence does not prove any characteristic of the product.”
“Rather, it diverts attention from the product’s attributes to both the manufacturer’s conduct and whether a standards-issuing organization would consider the product to be free from defects. Neither of these considerations are pertinent to a risk-utility analysis,” the court concluded.