Dissent In Sikkelee Ruling Offers Preemption Road Map

Law360 (November 28, 2018, 3:14 PM EST) -- Last month, the Third Circuit announced its decision in Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp.,[1] significantly restricting federal "impossibility" preemption, and making it much more difficult for manufacturers in federally regulated industries to assert the doctrine as a defense to state law product liability claims.

While describing the potential impact of the case, many commentators have glossed over the well-reasoned dissent of Judge Jane Roth, who highlighted several flaws in the majority's opinion, arguably showing it to be more focused on perceived public policy considerations than strict adherence to prior case law.

The Underlying Facts and Federal Preemption Generally

The Sikkelee case...

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