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Madonna v. Harley Davidson, Inc.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania
708 A.2d 507 (1998)


Facts

Charles Madonna (plaintiff) was injured when his motorcycle, which was manufactured by Harley Davidson, Inc. (Harley) (defendant), crashed. Madonna had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 percent at the time of the crash. Madonna’s Harley motorcycle contained a defective bolt on the brake caliper. Madonna and his passenger Delores Wilson (plaintiff) brought a products-liability suit against Harley based on strict liability. Harley presented evidence that the bolt was functioning properly at the time of the accident. Harley also argued that Madonna’s contributory negligence of driving while intoxicated should shield Harley from liability. The trial court ruled in favor of Harley. Madonna appealed, arguing that a plaintiff’s conduct is not relevant in a products-liability suit based on strict liability.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Del Sole, J.)

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