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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's review of legal issues accepted for review is plenary.
The defendant fire department (successor) purchased Boardman. The defendant dispatched its Boardman pumper in response to an emergency call. While en route, a pre-connected fire hose fell from one of the cross-lay compartments and lodged under the tire of a parked car. After it broke free with accumulated force, the hose or nozzle struck two ten-year-old bystanders causing severe injuries. One of them died the next day. Appellees, families of the bystanders, commenced civil actions against the defendants based on a theory of strict products liability. The trial court ordered the company and a fire department each 50% liable. The appellate court affirmed, and the company sought further review.
Was the defendant company liable?
The defendant found liable under the product-line exception to the rule against successor liability could not contest the exception's viability in Pennsylvania because it waived the argument by failing to raise it in the trial or intermediate appellate courts, pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 302(a), even though precedent would have made raising the issue futile.