Monday, August 2, 2010

New Products Liability Decision in This Week's Advance Sheets

The South Carolina Supreme Court today issued its decision in Priester v. Ford Motor Co., et al. The decision can be found here and beginning on page 12 here. A quick cut and paste of the lead-in paragraph provides a good synopsis of its holding, and I will try and get a briefing posted that goes into more detail. As Justice Kittridge states in the lead-in paragraph:

This case concerns whether Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 205 (49 C.F.R. § 571.205 (1971)) preempts a state law products liability claim premised solely on a manufacturer's choice of tempered glass for a vehicle's side windows. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 205 (Regulation 205) mandates that "[g]lazing materials[1] for use in motor vehicles … shall conform" to the American National Standard Institute "safety code for safety glazing materials." Courts across the country faced with this issue have struggled with the preemptive effect, if any, of Regulation 205 and have reached opposite conclusions. Pending resolution from the United States Supreme Court, we join those jurisdictions finding the federal regulation preempts state law, and therefore, we affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Ford Motor Company.

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