are located in the general vicinity of the Plaintiff's home in
Further, the Plaintiff discusses the fact that the defective
product, the sun roof of the 1983 Escort, was designed and
manufactured in a state other than North Carolina. The
Defendant Company does not have any plants in North Carolina
where it designs or manufacturers automobiles or sun roofs.
This was a one-car collision and could have happened anywhere
in the country. The driver of the car, the Plaintiff's sister,
is no longer stationed at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina.
There were no witnesses to the accident other than Donald
Kenerly, Jr., who arrived on the scene after the accident
occurred, and whose deposition has been taken for use at
It is the Court's opinion that these "contacts" with
Illinois are not of the nature that the Restatement intended
to be sufficient to warrant the application of a particular
state's law. Further, the Court finds that North Carolina's
contacts significantly outweigh those of Illinois.
All of the significant acts in the instant case occurred in
North Carolina. The alleged injury occurred in the State of
North Carolina on a North Carolina highway. The alleged
conduct of the Defendants had its effect upon the Plaintiff in
North Carolina. The Defendants placed the allegedly defective
automobile into the consumer market in North Carolina, and the
automobile passed into the possession of the owners in North
Carolina. The Defendants are engaged in doing business in
North Carolina, and the Plaintiff was living in the State of
North Carolina at the time of the accident.
Furthermore, North Carolina is one of the only, if not the
only, state which has not adopted strict liability in tort.
North Carolina has established that as a matter of public
policy, its product liability statute permits recovery only
under negligence and breach of implied warranty. (North
Carolina General Statute 99B-1 to 99B-10). This statute,
excluding recovery under the theory of strict liability, sets
forth a policy that has been upheld by the appellate courts
and the Supreme Court. Since North Carolina affords all
manufacturers the benefit of not being sued in strict
liability, the Defendant should not arbitrarily be excluded
from that policy merely because the Plaintiff asserts an
opportunity to recover under a more favorable theory.
North Carolina's product liability law is unique and is
founded upon very specific and express public policy unique to
that state. Two of the critical choice of law considerations
set forth in § 6 of the Restatement Second of Conflicts of Law
are: (1) certainty, predictability and uniformity of result;
and, (2) ease in the determination and application of the law
to be applied. Under the facts of this case, it appears that
the law of North Carolina should be applied to insure the
uniformity and application as intended by the Restatement.
A more basic set of factors that this Court may also
consider in determining the most significant contacts, can be
found in the Restatement Second Conflict of Law § 145, and
include: (1) the place where the injury occurred; (2) the place
where the conduct causing the injury occurred; (3) the
domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation and
place of business of the parties; and (4) the place where the
relationship, if any, between the parties is centered. In the
instant case, each of these inquiries requires "North Carolina"
as the answer. The injury occurred in North Carolina; the
automobile was placed in the stream of commerce in North
Carolina; the residence of the Plaintiff at that time was North
Carolina, and the Defendant was licensed to do business in that
state; and, if anywhere, the "relationship" between the parties
is centered in North Carolina. They have no other relationship
or contacts elsewhere, according to the present record.
In sum, it is the Court's opinion that the substantive law
of the State of North Carolina should be applied pursuant to
the Florida Conflicts of Law test. All of the significant acts
which gave rise to this cause of action occurred in North
Carolina and at the time of the accident the Defendants were
doing business in North Carolina, where the Plaintiff was
residing. Further, there are substantial policy reasons
for this Court to apply North Carolina law, in light of North
Carolina's unique protections afforded its manufacturers.
Therefore, the Court finds that North Carolina substantive law
must be applied in this case.
It is ordered that the Defendant's "Motion for Ruling that
the Law of the State of North Carolina is the Applicable Law
in this Case" is GRANTED.
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