South Carolina Supreme Court Finds Products Liability Claim Preempted by Federal Motor Vehicle Standard 205

This morning, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion in Priester v. Ford Motor Co., Op. No. 26846 (S.C. August 2, 2010), in which it ruled that a state law products liability claim is preempted by Federal Motor Vehicle Standard 205 (49 C.F.R. § 571.205). After examining the current split of persuasive authority, the Court ruled that the regulation provides a “range of choices among” different types of glass that could be used in a vehicle, rather than a minimum safety standard. Thus, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court, which had granted Ford’s motion for summary judgment on those grounds. We’ll write up a full analysis of this decision for tomorrow’s post.

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