Re: A.16 (pg1223): Cafazzo v. Central Medical Health Services, Inc 542 Pa. 526, 668 A.2d 521,1995 (Pennsylvania Supreme Court)
Cafazzo (Plaintiff) sued Central Medical Health Services and Physician that did the surgery (Defendants) for product liability for an implanted medical device that failed six years after his surgery in 1986. Cafazzo had surgery for the implantation of a mandibular prosthesis. Cafazzo sued the hospital (Defendant) and the surgeon (Defendant) under strict product liability. Cafazzo’s suit was based on that the product was defectively designed and lacked any warning necessary to ensure safety. The product manufacturer, Vitek, was not named defendant because by that time they were bankrupt. The court held for Central medical, Cafazzo appealed.
Can a hospital and a physician be held strictly liable under the Restatement of Torts Section: 402 for defects in a product incidental to the provision of medical services?
No. To decide that a surgeon and hospital is liable under circumstances for strict product liability is the same as saying that the surgical skills necessary for the implantation of the mandibular prosthesis are connected to the sale of the implant itself. Plaintiff did not purchase the implant from Defendants.
Under restatement torts section:402 One who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property is subject to liability for physical harm thereby caused to the ultimate user or consumer. As Cafazzo sued the hospital and surgeon, this is not the case for the defendants. The defendants are not the manufacturers of the product, and it was not reasonably foreseeable that the product was defective. In...