Ed Slaughter to Argue Before Arizona Court of Appeals
On March 20, 2012, Ed Slaughter will argue before the Arizona Court of Appeals in Phoenix, Arizona on behalf of a design engineering firm that was sued in connection with engineering and design services it allegedly performed during the construction of a New Mexico plant in the 1960s. Last year, HPY won summary judgment following the Court's decision to apply New Mexico law based on HPY's briefing. Securing application of New Mexico law was a significant achievement given the existence of a New Mexico statute of repose precluding actions arising out of defective or unsafe conditions in real property after 10 years.
The March 20 oral argument likely represents the final chapter in a series of appeals initiated by Plaintiffs following the trial court's initial ruling on HPY's motion to apply New Mexico law. Although Plaintiffs immediately filed a Special Action challenging the trial court’s ruling, the Arizona Court of Appeals followed Defendant’s argument and summarily declined jurisdiction over the appeal. Plaintiffs next appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, which requested briefing on the choice-of-law issue. After reviewing the briefing submitted by the parties, the Supreme Court also declined jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' appeal. That ruling paved the way for the Maricopa County court to hear Defendant’s summary judgment motion, in which HPY argued that New Mexico’s statute of repose bars Plaintiffs’ action against our client.