Chutes and Falling Ladders: Superior Court Delves into the Appropriate Venue for a Strict Products Liability Case (PA)
In Kornfeind v. New Werner Holdings Co., Inc. William Kornfeind (“plaintiff”) was standing on a ladder when it slid downward, causing plaintiff to fall and sustain severe injuries. Plaintiff brought claims of strict products liability and negligence against New Werner, the designer of the ladder. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment after discovery concluded. New Werner claimed that Pennsylvania was an improper venue because plaintiff was injured in Illinois. The trial court denied the motion and defendant appealed.
The Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling, noting that while plaintiff is a resident of Illinois, purchased the ladder in Illinois, and was injured in Illinois, his claims surround the design of the ladder, which allegedly occurred in Pennsylvania. Thus, venue was proper in Pennsylvania for this matter.
This case reveals that when defending a strict products liability case we should look to the essence of plaintiff’s claims to determine the appropriate venue for an action.
Thanks to Nicholas Wight for his contribution to this post. Please contact Heather Aquino with any questions.