The opinion of the court was delivered by: GARRETT BROWN, District Judge
This matter comes before the Court upon Defendant Caterpillar,
Inc.'s motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(c). The motion has been extensively briefed by
both Plaintiff and Defendant Caterpillar, and the Court has
decided the motion based on the parties' written submissions and
without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
78. For the reasons discussed below, the motion is granted.
Plaintiff Rosario Lindsey ("Plaintiff") brought the present
diversity action against Defendants Caterpillar, Inc.
("Caterpillar") and Midwestern Manufacturing Company
("Midwestern"). On July 29, 2004, Plaintiff filed an Amended
Complaint alleging claims of strict liability, negligence and
breach of warranty based on New Jersey law. The claims arise out
of an incident that involved Plaintiff's husband, Charles Lindsey
("the decedent"), which ultimately led to his death. On August 5,
2002, the decedent was operating a sideboom pipelayer tractor
that was manufactured by Caterpillar, the CAT 572G.
(Caterpillar's 56.1 Statement, ¶ 1). This machine was operating
in unison with a second pipelayer manufactured by Midwestern. The
machines were traveling one behind the other, in reverse gear,
and were attached to the same load by its boom rigging. As the
decedent and another worker, Robert Wix, attempted to transport a
forty-foot pipe along a slope of approximately twenty degrees,
Midwestern's pipelayer lost power and began sliding down the
slope. The CAT 572G began to slide as well and eventually flipped
over. The decedent suffered fatal injuries. (Id., ¶ 4).
On July 28, 2005, the Court entered a stipulation of dismissal
of all claims asserted against Midwestern. Thus, the remaining
claims in this action are against Caterpillar. On May 13, 2005,
Caterpillar moved for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 56(c). Caterpillar contends that Count I of
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is preempted by the Occupational
Safety and Health Act ("OSH Act" or "Act"). Caterpillar further
asserts that Counts II and III are precluded under the New Jersey
Products Liability Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:58C-1, et seq.
A. Summary Judgment Standard
A party seeking summary judgment must "show that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party
is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P.
56(c); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
(1986); Orson, Inc. v. Miramax Film Corp., 79 F.3d 1358, 1366
(3d Cir. 1996); Healy v. New York Life Ins. Co., 860 F.2d 1209,
1219, n. 3 (3d Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1098 (1989);
Hersh v. Allen Prod. Co., 789 F.2d 230, 232 (3d Cir. 1986). The
threshold inquiry is whether there are "any genuine factual
issues that properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact
because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250
(1986) (noting that no issue for trial exists unless there is
sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to
return a verdict in its favor). In deciding whether triable
issues of fact exist, the court must view the underlying facts
and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving
party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Pa. Coal Ass'n v. Babbitt,
63 F.3d 231, 236 (3d Cir. 1995); Hancock Indus. v. Schaeffer,
811 F.2d 225, 231 (3d Cir. 1987).
A movant must be awarded summary judgment on all properly
supported issues identified in its motion, except those for which
the nonmoving party has provided evidence to show that a question
of material fact remains. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. Put
another way, once the moving party has properly supported its
showing of no triable issue of fact and of an entitlement to
judgment as a matter of law, for example, with affidavits, which
may be "supplemented . . . by depositions, answers to
interrogatories, or further affidavits," id. at 322, "its
opponent must do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita,
475 U.S. at 586. The non-moving party must "go beyond the pleadings
and by [its] own affidavits, or by the `depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file,' designate `specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'"
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.
B. Preemption Analysis of Count I Strict Liability
In Count I of the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff asserts that
Caterpillar is strictly liable under the New Jersey Products
Liability Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:58C-1, et seq. (Pl.'s Am. Compl., ¶
20). Specifically, Plaintiff asserts that CAT 572G was
defectively designed because it was not equipped with a rollover
protection system ("ROPS"). (Id., ¶ 16). Caterpillar argues
that Plaintiff's strict liability design defect claim is preempted by the OSH Act, and
the regulations promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration ("OSHA") pursuant to the Act.
The preemption doctrine derives from the Supremacy Clause of
the Constitution. U.S. CONST. art. VI, cl. 2. "[A]ny state law,
however clearly within a State's acknowledged power, which
interferes with or is contrary to federal law, must yield." Gade
v. Nat'l Solid Wastes Mgmt. Ass'n, 505 U.S. 88, 108 (1992)
(quoting Felder v. Casey, 487 U.S. 131, 138 (1988)). Whether a
federal statute preempts state law is a question of congressional
intent. Schneidewind v. ANR Pipeline Co., 485 U.S. 293, 299
(1988); N.J. State Chamber of Commerce v. Hughey, 774 F.2d 587,
592 (3d Cir. 1985). Regulations promulgated pursuant to federal
law have as much pre-emptive effect as federal statutes.
Fidelity Fed. Sav. and Loan Ass'n v. de la Cuesta,
458 U.S. 141, 153 (1982).
A federal statute may explicitly preempt a state statute if "on
the face of the federal statute, Congress expressly stated an
intent to preempt a state law." Hughey, 774 F.2d at 592.
Preemption may also be implied in one of two ways. Field
preemption occurs when "federal law so thoroughly occupies a
legislative field as to make reasonable the inference that
Congress left no room for the States to supplement it." C.E.R.
1988, Inc. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 386 F.3d 263, 269 (3d Cir.
2004) (quoting Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 505 U.S. 504,
516 (1992)). Conflict preemption occurs when "compliance with
both state and federal law is impossible, or when the state law
`stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the
full purposes and objective of Congress.'" California v. ARC Am.
Corp., 490 U.S. 93, 100-101 (1989) (citations and quotations
In the present case, Caterpillar argues that the OSH Act and
OSHA regulations, specifically 29 C.F.R. § 1926.1000 which
concerns ROPS for material handling equipment, preempt
Plaintiff's strict liability claim. In response, Plaintiff
advances three main arguments. First, Plaintiff contends that the OSH Act does not apply to manufacturers, but only to
employers, and therefore cannot preempt her claim against
Caterpillar. Second, Plaintiff asserts that the Act was not
intended to preempt New Jersey's product liability law. Third,