Ferren v. General Motors Corp.
New Hampshire Supreme Court
628 A.2d 265 (1993)
Dennis and Judith Ferren (plaintiffs), a New Hampshire married couple, sued Dennis’s employer, General Motors Corporation (GMC) (defendant), for Judith’s loss of consortium and injuries that Dennis suffered when he was exposed to lead dust from 1961 through 1974 when Dennis was employed at GMC’s Kansas plant. The Ferrens sued GMC in a federal district court in New Hampshire that certified state-law choice-of-law questions to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Specifically, the New Hampshire Supreme Court was asked whether the substantive law of New Hampshire or Kansas governed the Ferrens’ action. New Hampshire’s discovery rule would allow the Ferrens to pursue their claims; the Kansas statute of limitations would bar their claims. The Ferrens argued that New Hampshire law applied because that is where they had resided since 1974 and where Dennis first discovered his lead-exposure illness in 1989 and there are substantial connections in New Hampshire to their claims. GMC argued that Kansas workers’-compensation law should govern because that is where Dennis was employed, where he had a contract of employment, and where he was exposed to the lead dust.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Horton, J.)
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