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Boyle versus United Technologies Corporation

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Discuss and debate the Boyle v. United Technologies Corporation U.S. Supreme Court decision which was decided in 1988.

Specifically, tell whether you think this decision should be overturned. At its heart, the case raises the sensitive and controversial issue of whether military members and their survivors should be able to sue contractors under prevailing state tort laws. In preparing your responses, please note that there were 3 Justices who dissented from the original majority opinion in this case.

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Step 1
This decision should not be overturned. The state law duty of care applies to firms who make products voluntarily or to specifications from the buyer. These firms are not military contractors and there is no federal interest. They must confirm to the state sales laws and if there is a violation they can be held liable. Even if the buyer gives them a design for a product, they are covered by state law of duty. The situation changes when Federal Government employees and agencies engage in discretionary functions. The Virginia tort law that applies to design flaws for products made in the state does not apply in this case because the military contractor defense applies.

Step 2
The decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit should not be overturned. The point is that even though the military contractor was independent, he had used a design that was approved by the military. ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains government procurement law. The sources used are also included in the solution.