On a Texas tort-law question about liability for a brake failure, the Fifth Circuit reasoned:

We do not think this question is close enough to warrant certification to the Supreme Court of Texas. See McMillan v. Amazon.com, 983 F.3d 194, 202 (5th Cir. 2020) (noting that certification is usually reserved for close questions of state law with “scant on-point precedent”). Certification is appropriate when “consequential state-law ground is to be plowed” and “any Erie guess would involve more divining than discerning.” Id. Our guess today is a safer bet. The Guijarros have not identified a single case cabining Armstrong to the realm of products liability. See Troice v. Greenberg Traurig, L.L.P., 921 F.3d 501, 504–05 (5th Cir. 2019) (declining to certify because multiple intermediate courts had adopted one view of the issue, and the plaintiff had not identified any contrary authority). Nor does such a distinction make sense. Add to the one-sidedness of this issue that neither party requested certification.

       We conclude that Texas law requires plaintiffs alleging a brake defect to put forth “competent expert testimony and objective proof” that the defect caused their injuries.

Guijarro v. Enterprise Holdings, Inc., No. 21-40512 (July 5, 2022).


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