US Car Safety Rules Don't Bar State Torts: High Court

Law360, New York (February 23, 2011, 3:26 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that federal car safety standards do not bar state tort claims over injuries from lap-only seatbelts, overturning a Mazda Motor Corp. unit's win following the death of a passenger wearing a lap-only belt.

In an 8-0 decision with Justice Elena Kagan recused, the high court ruled that the family of Thanh Williamson, who died in a 2002 crash while wearing a lap-only belt, could go forward with a case against the maker of her minivan.

The California Court of Appeal,...
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