Liability-limit law upheld as constitutional

 - July 28, 2008, 11:53 AM

A Superior Court of Arizona judge has dismissed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Cessna stemming from the crash of a 1980 Model 210 in October 2000 that killed the pilot and his wife. In rejecting the suit, the judge cited the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994, which protects general aviation manufacturers from most product-liability claims involving airplanes more than 18 years old. While on final approach, the Cessna 210’s engine lost power and the airplane hit powerlines. There was fuel in the left tank, but fuel flow may have been interrupted by running a tank dry and/or unporting the fuel tank feed line by prolonged slips or skids, the NTSB said. The plaintiffs, who are expected to appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court, allege that FAA-mandated flight manual changes and a known design defect of the piston single’s fuel system should be an exception to GARA.