Outside Publication

FAA Weighs In On Preemption In Product Liability Litigation, Law360

October 06, 2015

Courts across the county have long struggled with the scope of federal preemption in aviation safety and with how an aircraft type certificate issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) affects aircraft product liability litigation.

The FAA recently weighed in with its views on these issues in a letter brief submitted to the Third Circuit in Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp., a case involving a fatal, single-engine plane crash, which is on appeal from the Middle District of Pennsylvania. This article summarizes the FAA letter brief submitted on appeal, which takes a broad approach to preemption, and then addresses its implications. However, before we begin, some context is necessary.