Tillman v. Raytheon Co. (Majority)Annotate this Case
Appellant's decedents were passengers in a 1979 Beechcraft Baron airplane when, in 2008, the left engine lost power and the plane crashed, killing all persons on board. Appellant filed suit on behalf of his decedents' estates, claiming wrongful death based on negligence and products liability. Appellant named as defendants the manufacturers of the airplane (Appellees), among others. Appellees moved for summary judgment on the grounds that Appellant's suit was barred by the eighteen-year statute of repose set forth in the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA). The circuit court granted summary judgment to Appellees, finding that Appellant's claims were barred by GARA and that neither the fraud exception nor the new-part rolling provision of GARA applied. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in granting summary judgment to Appellees where (1) a genuine issue of material fact did not exist with respect to whether the fraud exception to GARA applied here; and (2) Appellant's allegations that the publication of an allegedly defective flight manual were insufficient to invoke GARA's new-part rolling provision as a matter of law.