Late last year Division One handed down an awful decision in State Farm Ins. Cos. v. Premier Manufactured Systems, Inc., in which the court addressed whether the principles of comparative fault established are applicable to the participants in the chain of distribution of an allegedly defective product. In essence, Division One held that Arizona’s comparative fault statute overrules well-established “strict liability” law in products liability that all parties in a chain of distribution of a defective product should be jointly and severally liable. This decision was extremely ill-conceived and contrary to the intent of the comparative fault statutes.
Thankfully, the Arizona Supreme Court recently agreed to accept review of the Court of Appeal’s decision. We look forward to hearing from the Supreme Court who, we hope, will provide some clarity on the application of the comparative fault statute.