Case Study: Williamson V. Mazda

Law360, New York (March 18, 2011, 12:59 PM EDT) -- On Feb. 23, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America Inc.[1] that a 1989 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 (“FMVSS 208”) that gave automobile manufacturers an option to install a “lap belt” or a “lap-and-shoulder belt” on rear aisle or rear middle seats, does not preempt a state tort claim that alleges all seats should have lap-and-shoulder belts. The court explained that preemption did not apply because this 1989 FMVSS 208 seat belt design choice was not based on...
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