Third Circuit Reaffirms Berrier - Third Restatement Applies in Pennsylvania Federal Court

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We've discussed the so-called "Berrier question" - whether the Third Circuit's prediction that Pennsylvania law would switch to the Third Restatement from the old Azzarello form of super-strict liability should continue to apply - before. Our position is that stare decisis required application of Berrier, until the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said otherwise, and that for federal district courts to take it upon themselves to decide whether or not to follow the Third Circuit risked judicial chaos.

Anyway, we're pleased to announce that the question has been put to rest, at least on the Third Circuit end. Today, in Covel v. Bell Sports, Inc., No. 10-3860, slip op. (3d Cir. July 12, 2011), holding that Berrier remained good law and that all federal district courts have to follow it. The issue arose in Covell in the context of industry standards evidence, previously inadmissible under Azarello super-strict liability. Under the Berrier/Third Restatement regime, however, this evidence is properly admitted. Covell, slip op. at 14-15.

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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