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Phillips v. General Motors Corp.

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Conflicts Keyed to Currie

Citation. Phillips v. GMC, 995 P.2d 1002, 2000 MT 55, 298 Mont. 438, 2000 Mont. LEXIS 54, 57 Mont. St. Rep. 259, CCH Prod. Liab. Rep. P15,758 (Mont. Mar. 7, 2000)

Brief Fact Summary
Phillips (Plaintiff), the legal guardian of the sole survivor of a traffic accident and personal representative of the estates of the survivor’s parents who died in the crash, brought suit against General Motors (GM) (Defendant) for personal injury, product liability, and wrongful death in Montana, where the accident victims resided.

Synopsis of Rule of Law
In a case where a potential conflict of laws exists, Montana will follow the most significant relationship test to determine which state’s substantive law is applicable.

Facts
Phillips (Plaintiff) represented the estates of a Montana family killed while driving a Chevrolet pickup truck on a Kansas freeway while en route to spend Christmas in North Carolina.  Phillips (Plaintiff), who lived in North Carolina, filed suit for product liability in federal court in Montana.  When the parties disagreed on which state’s substantive law was applicable, the court certified three questions to the Montana Supreme Court.

Issue
In a case where a potential conflict of laws exists, will Montana follow the most significant relationship test to determine which state’s substantive law is applicable?

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