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PRINTER'S NO. 316
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
402
Session of
2015
INTRODUCED BY BAKER, MENSCH, HUTCHINSON AND FOLMER,
FEBRUARY 4, 2015
REFERRED TO JUDICIARY, FEBRUARY 4, 2015
AN ACT
Amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in particular rights and
immunities, providing for liability rules applicable to
product sellers.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
ยง 8320.1. Liability rules applicable to product sellers.
(a) General rule.--In a product liability action, a product
seller other than a manufacturer shall not be liable for damages
resulting in death, injury to person or property or economic
loss unless the plaintiff establishes at least one of the
following:
(1) (i) The product that allegedly caused the harm
complained of by the plaintiff was sold by the product
seller, the product seller failed to exercise reasonable
care with respect to the product before placing the
product in the stream of commerce and the failure to
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exercise reasonable care was a proximate cause of the
harm complained of by the plaintiff.
(ii) For purposes of this paragraph, a product
seller shall not be considered to have failed to exercise
reasonable care with respect to the product based upon an
alleged failure to inspect a product where there was no
reasonable opportunity to inspect the product in a manner
that, in the exercise of reasonable care, would have
revealed the aspect of the product that allegedly caused
the harm complained of by the plaintiff.
(2) The product seller made an express warranty
applicable to the product that allegedly caused the harm
complained of by the plaintiff independent of an express
warranty made by a manufacturer as to the same product, the
product failed to conform to the seller's express warranty
and the failure of the product to conform to the seller's
express warranty caused the harm complained of by the
plaintiff.
(3) The product seller, before placing the product in
the stream of commerce, exercised significant control over
the design, manufacture, packaging or labeling of the product
related to the alleged defect in the product that caused the
harm complained of by the plaintiff.
(4) The product seller, before placing the product in
the stream of commerce, knew or reasonably should have known
of the defect in the product that caused the harm complained
of by the plaintiff or the product seller was in possession
of facts from which a reasonable person would conclude that
the product seller had or should have had knowledge of the
alleged defect in the product that caused the harm complained
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of by the plaintiff.
(5) The product seller engaged in intentional wrongdoing
that was a proximate cause of the harm complained of by the
plaintiff.
(6) The product seller, before placing the product in
the stream of commerce, held itself out as the manufacturer
to the user of the product, in which case the product seller
shall be liable as though the product seller were the
manufacturer of the product.
(b) Rental and leases.--Notwithstanding any other provision
of law, a product seller who is engaged in the business of
renting or leasing a product shall be subject to liability
pursuant to subsection (a) but shall not be liable to a
plaintiff for the tortious act of another solely by reason of
ownership of the product.
(c) Certification of manufacturer identity.--
(1) In a product liability action against a product
seller, the product seller may file an affidavit certifying
the correct identity of the manufacturer of the product that
allegedly caused the injury, death or damage.
(2) The product seller shall exercise due diligence in
providing the plaintiff with the correct identity of the
manufacturer.
(d) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection:
" Manufacturer. " A person who:
(1) Produced, created, made or constructed the product
or component part of the product.
(2) Designed or formulated the product or component part
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of the product or engaged another person to design or
formulate the product or component part of the product.
" Product seller. " A person who, in the course of a business
conducted for that purpose, sells, distributes, rents, leases,
prepares, packages, labels or otherwise is involved in placing a
product in the stream of commerce.
Section 2. This act shall apply to all actions instituted on
or after the effective date of this section.
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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