Tort Reform & GARA: Is Repose Incompatible with Safety?

This Note examines the history of the general aviation industry leading up to passage of General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 (GARA). It analyzes GARA’s operation and exceptions, the rationale
supporting its passage, the case against passage, and how a large majority of Congress came to support the bill. Next this Note provides a general overview of tort negligence, products liability, and design defect theories. Lastly, it evaluates the record of the general aviation industry since passage of GARA. The evaluation focuses on how the predictions of supporters and detractors have been borne out, especially in terms of revitalizing the industry and the industry’s safety record, and how these results contribute to the tort reform debate.