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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
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Breaking News: SCOTUS Rules Lap Belt Only Seat Belt Cases Not Preempted

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In a victory for the constitution, states’ rights and safety, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Williamson v. Mazda, has unanimously ruled (2 concurrences, no dissents) that federal regulations establishing a minimum floor for safety do not preempt state tort claims. Auto manufacturers for decades chose to install lap belt only seat belts in rear and center seating positions even though manufacturers knew that three-point seat belts were much safer.

Read the Supreme Court Opinion: Williamson v. Mazda

Read my previous post on Williamson: US Supreme Court To Re-Examine Seat Belt Preemption

Car makers have known for more than 50 years that three-point seat belts are much safer than two-point seat belts and, in fact, two-point seat belts can actually cause more injuries in many collisions. Despite this knowledge, auto companies continued to install only two-point seat belts in the rear center seats of vehicles because they were cheaper to design, manufacture and install than three-point seat belts.


Learn more:

[More on Federal Preemption]

(c) Copyright 2011 Brett A. Emison