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Chicago, City of v. General Motors Corp.

Citation: 2 ELR 20636
No. No. 71-1645, 467 F.2d 1262/4 ERC 1632/(7th Cir., 09/19/1972) Aff'd

In a suit by the city of Chicago seeking to require defendants to equip all new and old vehicles operating in Chicago with tamper-proof emission control devices, the district court's dismissal, 1 ELR 20408, is affirmed. Federal legislation is held to preempt enforcement of emissions standards for cars of model years 1968 and after. As to vehicles of model years 1967 and before, Chicago seeks to have defendants recall and furnish the devices without charge, based upon 42 U.S.C. §1857h-2(e) (one of the 1970 Clean Air amendments preserving common-law remedies) and the Illinois common law of product liability. Whereas the district court had deferred to the state courts on the theory that the latter had not yet extended the doctrine of product liability far enough to encompass the present cause of action, the court of appeals finds no claim for which relief can be granted because individual polluting automobiles are not dangerous products in the sense required to invoke common-law strict liability.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Richard L. Curry Corporation Counsel
William R. Quinlan Assistant Corporation Counsel
Jerome H. Torshen Special Assistant Corporation Counsel
City Hall
121 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607

Counsel for Defendants
Hammond Chaffetz
Joseph DuCoeur
Alan I. Becker
Kirkland, Ellis, Hodson, Chaffetz & Masters
Prodential Plaza
Chicago, Illinois 60601

George E. Hale
Robert F. Forrer
Wilson & McIlvane
120 W. Adams Street
Chicago, Illinois 60603

Erwin C. Heininger
Roger W. Barrett
Robert L. Stern
Mayer, Brown & Platt
231 S. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604

James B. O'Shaughnessy
William T. Hart
Schiff, Hardin, Waite, Dorschel & Britton
231 S. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Luther C. McKinney
John J. McHugh
Chadwell, Keck, Kayser & Ruggles
135 S. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois

Douglas C. Moir
Edward J. Wendrow
Winston, Strawn, Smith & Patterson
One First National Plaza
Chicago, Illinois 60670

Before Kiley and Sprecher, Circuit Judges, and Durfee, Senior Judge.*