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Forthcoming Opinion

February 4, 2011

On Monday, February 7, 2011, the Supreme Court will release opinions in 13 cases, one of which is civil.  A brief summary of the issues in the case are below and we will update on Monday morning with a summary of the opinions.

S10Q1379. Campbell et al. v. Altec Industries, Inc., et al.

This case is a certified question from the Eleventh Circuit.  The case began as a products liability case, for alleged liability regarding a defect in a bucket truck.  A Georgia statute provides for a 10-year period in which a products liability case can be brought for a defect in how the product was sold.  The case was filed ten years and 21 days after the bucket truck design in question was first assembled for testing, but less than ten years after it was finally assembled for sale.

The district court granted the motion to dismiss, but the Eleventh Circuit cited conflicting Georgia precedent on whether the 10-year period runs from the date of the installation or the date of the sale.

The Eleventh Circuit certified the following question to the Georgia Supreme Court:

  1. In a strict liability or negligence action, does the statute of repose in O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11 begin running when (1) a component part causing an injury is assembled or tested, (2) a finished product, which includes an injuring component part, is assembled, or (3) a finished product, which includes an injuring component part, is delivered to its initial purchaser?

The Appellants argue that the statute of repose is not triggered until the manufacturer delivers the final product into the hands of the initial purchasing consumer.  The Appellees counterthat the proper interpretation of the statute involves the first sale for use of the product, and the purchase of the boom cylinder triggers the statute.

The case was argued on September 13, 2010.


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