Articles Tagged with seat belt defect

On October 22, 2008 the Court of Appeals of California, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, held that  FMVSS 208 preempted the plaintiffs claim that a vehicle with a lap-only seat belt in the rear inboard passenger seat was sold in a defective and unreasonably dangerous condition. Specifically, the court held that

to the extent plaintiffs contend defendants are liable for failing to install a lap/shoulder seat belt in the minivan’s middle row inboard seat, their claim is barred by the version of FMVSS 208 in effect when defendants manufactured the minivan.

The case is Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc., Case No. G038845 and the opinion is published at 167 Cal. App. 4th 905.  The California Supreme Court denied review on February 11, 2009, and plaintiff filed writ of certiorari on April 22, 2009.  The case number before the Supreme Court is No. 08-1314.  Here is the current version of FMVSS 208.

A post from the Mass Tort Defense blog highlights a real problem:  jurors conducting independent research during trials.  Indeed, in the case featured in the post, the juror conducted the research before the trial (after he received his summons to serve as a juror) but shared what he knew during deliberations.  The result?  A reversal of a defense verdict.

The blog post does a nice job summarizing Russo v. Takata Corp., 2009 WL 2963065 (S.D. 9/16/09).  You can read the entire opinion here.

Here is an excerpt from Sean Wajert’s summary:

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