Maritime Opinion Offers Hope For 'Bare Metal' Defense

By John Vales and Stephen Turner (May 10, 2019, 4:53 PM EDT) -- In Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. DeVries,[1] decided on March 19, 2019, the United States Supreme Court addressed the scope of a manufacturer's duty to warn in maritime tort cases when the manufacturer's product requires the incorporation of a part in order for the integrated product to function as intended. Relying upon special maritime considerations, the Supreme Court declined to apply the "bare metal" defense that had served to protect the defendant-manufacturers from liability with respect to harms caused by later added third-party parts, such as asbestos insulation.

While this holding spells good news for sailors, it may also spell...

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