Feb 25 by GJEL

SCOTUS Clears Way for California Defective Seat Belt Lawsuits Against Mazda

For the past twenty years, car manufacturers were faced with a choice: install lap-only seat belts, or “type 2” seat belts, which include a shoulder strap and have been proven to be much safer. When faced with this choice, can the car makers be penalized for choosing the less safe option? Since October of 2009, the US Supreme Court has been charged with parsing this question in terms of SCOTUS preemption precedents that seemed to indicate a tough route forward for plaintiff wrongful death lawsuits against Mazda. But this week, a unanimous court ruled that the lawsuits could move forward here in California.

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Nov 05 by GJEL

Supreme Court Defective Seat Belt Decision Will Impact Future Auto Safety

Sadly, vehicle seat belts do not represent a catchall solution to end car accident deaths. In fact, a recent Supreme Court case indicates that one victim may have “jackknifed around the lap belt causing fatal internal injuries,” reports the Washington Post. Now, the SCOTUS justices appear evenly divided on whether to allow a lawsuit against Mazda Motor of America, the company that produced the 1993 vehicle in question, for not installing seat belts with shoulder straps.

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