Overturning a $13.5 million jury verdict in a product liability case, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that although Pennsylvania law calls for judges to make an initial determination of whether a product is “unreasonably dangerous,” the jury must also be allowed to hear evidence relating to that risk-utility analysis before it makes its decision on liability.

In its 27-page opinion in Moyer v. United Dominion Industries Inc., a unanimous three-judge panel concluded that the trial judge had misapplied the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 1978 decision in Azzarello v. Black Bros. Co.