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Attorneys Await Answers on Key Products Liability Questions

February 12, 2016

The Legal Intelligencer
By Ben Seal

When Tincher v. Omega Flex landed on products liability attorneys’ desks 15 months ago, its 137 pages left them looking for more. The state Supreme Court’s fervently awaited decision raised a series of questions, the most pressing of which was when the other foot might drop.

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The fact-specific nature of products liability cases makes the task facing Pennsylvania’s courts particularly daunting, according to Jeremy Mishkin of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads. It might have taken just one decision to unsettle the practice area, but it will likely take many more to restore order, attorneys said.

“When you’re eating a dinosaur, you can only eat it one bite at a time,” Mishkin said.

Causation is a “granular” issue, according to Mishkin, a defense attorney, but one that could play a key role in future development of the law. Other states place a higher burden on plaintiffs to prove causation than Pennsylvania does, he said.

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