Even if the Pennsylvania Supreme Court does decide to allow the “sophisticated user” defense to be put forward in product liability cases, it should be on a limited basis, and with an eye toward preserving workers’ rights, a plaintiffs lawyer argued before the justices last week morning in Philadelphia City Hall.

But defense counsel in Straub v. Cherne Industries reasoned that the sophisticated user defense allows manufacturers to discharge their liability with respect to specific products by communicating with employers about safety measures at the time of sale, and relying on employers to warn employees about the potential dangers of using a particular product.

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