On February 29, 2012, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp. The question in this case was whether the federal Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) preempted design-defect and failure-to-warn claims brought under state law for injuries relating to asbestos contained in locomotive parts.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Thomas, the Court held by a vote of 6-3 that the LIA did preempt such state law claims. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, and Kagan joined Justice Thomas’ opinion. Justice Kagan also filed a concurring opinion. Justice Sotomayor, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Breyer, filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.
To discuss the case we have Mark Behrens, who is a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P.