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The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to review a lower court ruling that affects how companies within a distribution chain can be sued in defective products lawsuits.

The state’s Supreme Court agreed last week to review a lower court decision that would no longer allow all parties in a distribution chain to be sued equally in a products liability cases. The is expected to issue its ruling in mid-summer.

Here’s the crux of the case, as explained in

In State Farm Insurance v. Premier Manufactured Systems (CA-CV 04-0465) the Arizona Division 1 Court of Appeals ruled that the Arizona legislature’s principles of comparative fault apply to distribution chains in such suits.

State Farm wanted all participants in the chain to be held “joint and severally liable” for a plaintiff’s damages over a defective kitchen water filter.

But the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a lower court decision to allocate comparative damages between the product’s seller and the defective-part supplier.

The ruling greatly shrinks the potential target range for personal injury lawyers considering a product liability suit.

For more information on this subject matter, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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