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Court determines that conflict of law rules favor application of Tennessee statute of repose

The Standard Fire Insurance Company and Travelers sued the Ford Motor Company after a Ford product burned down their insured's house.  The insurers argued that as "subrogees" of John Lombard, they should be able to collect their costs from the manufacturer of the car.  The car, the insured and the policies were all situated in Tennessee, which limits all product liability claims to a ten-year statute of repose.  Since the car was more than ten years old, Tennessee law would eliminate the insurers' claims.  Michigan has no similar law.

The Court held that if Tennessee did not offer protection to its citizens when an old product failed, Michigan also should not provide Tennessee citizens with this protection.  The Court applied the law of the location where the injury occurred, as opposed to the law of the forum where the case was to be tried.

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