Supreme Court Ruling
The Supreme Court ruled recently that the family of a woman killed in a head-on collision may sue the manufacturer of the minivan she was traveling in for failing to install lap-and-shoulder belts. The Court’s decision was unanimous after Mazda, the maker of the minivan involved in the fatal crash, argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed as they had been in full compliance with federal safety regulations. Mazda said regulations allowed it to decide whether to install lap belts or lap-and-shoulder belts in rear seats. Mazda cited a similar Supreme Court ruling in 2000 that allowed automakers the option of installing airbags. In that case, Geier v. American Honda Motor Company, the Court ruled that federal regulations foreclosed the filing of injury litigation under state law by people who claimed the automakers had made the wrong choice.