Burroughs v. Precision Airmotive Corp.

78 Cal. App. 4th 681, 93 Cal. Rptr. 2d 124 (2000)

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Burroughs v. Precision Airmotive Corp.

California Court of Appeal
78 Cal. App. 4th 681, 93 Cal. Rptr. 2d 124 (2000)

Facts

James and Jared Burroughs (plaintiffs) were injured in an aircraft crash that was caused by a defective carburetor float. The carburetor and its float had been manufactured and sold 27 years prior to the accident. During those 27 years, the product line containing the carburetor had been sold to different companies. At the time of the accident, the product line was owned by aircraft-part manufacturer Precision Airmotive Corporation (Precision) (defendant). Precision merely owned the product line and had never manufactured that particular carburetor. Precision had been aware of the potential issue with the carburetor’s float and had (1) issued mandatory-service bulletins stating that the floats must be replaced and (2) unsuccessfully attempted to get a federal airworthiness directive issued. The aircraft’s mechanic (defendant) testified that he paid attention only to federal airworthiness directives and had not even checked the float. The crash victims sued Precision and several others. Precision argued that the claims against it were barred by a federal statute of repose. The trial court applied the federal statute and dismissed the claims as time-barred. The crash victims appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bamattre-Manoukian, J.)

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