Code Blue! Ambulance Manufacturing Specifications May Pre-empt State Common Law Claims
Denning , Michael J.
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This comment seeks to apply contemporary pre-emption jurisprudence to the area of federal purchasing specifications. The piece first lays the foundation of pre-emption, and more specifically discusses its inception and maturation, and then provides an analysis of how courts should apply these principles today. Next, the piece introduces federal purchasing specifications, specifically the specification governing the government's acquisition of ambulances. The comment argues that because the specification was written to provide federal uniformity to the ambulance manufacturing field, any state claim seeking to hold a manufacturer to a higher standard than that written into the specification should be pre-empted through the doctrine of "conflict pre-emption." Ordinary and contemporary principles of pre-emption are challenged and dissected and conclusions are drawn as to the possibility that these seemingly innocuous specifications may actually pre-empt state common law claims.