U.S. Supreme Court: Family can sue Mazda over seat belt death


Soon enough you’ll be able to easily sue automakers when it comes to product liability cases. The United States Supreme Court ruled today that the family of a woman who died while wearing a seat belt across her lap in a Mazda minivan can sue the company.

Reversing a lower court decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that a lawsuit brought forward by the family of a woman killed in a 1993 Mazda minivan could go forward. Thanah Williamson was traveling with her family and was only wearing her lap belt during a crash in August 2002. While Thanah was killed after the vehicle was involved in a head-on collision, her husband and daughter – who were wearing lap and shoulder belts – survived.

The family argued that Mazda should have installed lap and shoulder belts, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not require those belts in all seats at the time.

Mazda spokesman, Jay Amestoy, said that the automakers was disappointed with the ruling.

“We will vigorously defend the vehicle when it heads back to trial court,” Amestoy said. “We are studying the decision.”

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Detroit News