Freightliner Corp. v. Myrick, 514 U.S. 280, 4 (1995)

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Cite as: 514 U. S. 280 (1995)

Opinion of the Court

Respondents independently sued the manufacturers of the tractor-trailers under state tort law. They alleged that the absence of ABS was a negligent design that rendered the vehicles defective. Petitioners removed the actions to the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on the basis of diversity of citizenship. They then sought summary judgment on the ground that respondents' claims were pre-empted by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (Safety Act or Act), Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718, as amended, 15 U. S. C. 1381 et seq., and its implementing regulations. In respondent Myrick's case, the District Court held that the claims were pre-empted by federal law and granted summary judgment for petitioner Freight-liner. Myrick v. Fruehauf Corp., 795 F. Supp. 1139 (ND Ga. 1992). Following the opinion in the Myrick case, the District Court granted summary judgment in the Lindsey action in favor of petitioner Navistar.

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit consolidated the cases and reversed. Myrick v. Freuhauf Corp., 13 F. 3d 1516 (1994). It held that under its previous decision in Taylor v. General Motors Corp., 875 F. 2d 816 (CA11 1989), cert. denied, 494 U. S. 1065 (1990), the state-law tort claims were not expressly pre-empted. The Court of Appeals rejected petitioners' alternative argument that the claims were pre-empted due to a conflict between state law and the federal regulatory scheme. We granted certiorari, 513 U. S. 922 (1994). We now affirm.


In 1966, Congress enacted the Safety Act "to reduce traffic accidents and deaths and injuries to persons resulting from traffic accidents." 15 U. S. C. 1381. The Act requires the Secretary of Transportation to establish "appropriate Federal motor vehicle safety standards." 1392(a). The Act defines a safety standard as "a minimum standard for


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