Advertising Disclosure Email Disclosure

Evidence of the plaintiff’s conduct admitted as impeachment and causation evidence in strict product liability case.

January 19, 2018
Anderson v. Pirelli Tire, LLC, 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3945 (Pa. Super. Ct. Oct. 24, 2017)

The plaintiff and the decedent were passengers on a motorcycle that crashed when the rear tire experienced a blow-out. The plaintiff filed suit against the manufacturer of the tire, asserting claims of negligence and strict liability. At trial, the court denied the plaintiff’s motion in limine to preclude evidence pertaining to the: (1) steps taken by the plaintiff to ensure the safe operation of the motorcycle; (2) weight carried on the motorcycle at the time of the accident; and (3) air pressure of the tire. The trial court’s ruling was affirmed on appeal. The Superior Court held that, although the challenged evidence could not be used to prove negligence on the part of the plaintiff in the claim for strict liability, it was admissible for other purposes. Specifically, the Superior Court ruled that evidence of the plaintiff’s conduct was admissible to impeach his testimony about being safety-conscious. The Superior Court further ruled that evidence pertaining to the over-deflection/under-inflation of the tire was admissible to prove that the accident did not result from a defect but, rather, from the plaintiff’s decision to ignore a possible problem with the tire. Because the trial court instructed the jury that the evidence was to be used only as evidence of causation, it was properly admitted, and the plaintiff’s appeal was denied.


Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2018

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2018 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.

Affiliated Attorney

Practice Areas

Before you send this email please note:

You are attempting to send email, through a link on our website, to an attorney of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin or an employee in our firm. Please note that your email may not be treated as confidential and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon the transmission of an email through this website if you are seeking to enter into such a relationship. Until such time as we have agreed to represent you, no information in your email will be treated as confidential. Please contact us directly by telephone at 1.800.220.3308 if it is your intent to seek legal counsel with our firm or convey confidential information.

If it is still your intent to send this email, knowing that it may not be treated as confidential, you may accept our terms of agreement by pressing "OK". If you choose not to accept these terms of agreement you may navigate away from this page by pressing "Cancel."