Wednesday, November 26, 2008
New NHTSA rule provides immunity from state tort suits related to seatbelt use
The National Law Journal reports that a group of consumer and trial lawyer organizations have filed a petition asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reconsider a final rule on designated seating positions in vehicles because it includes language that would give vehicle manufacturers immunity from state tort suits related to seatbelt use. Previously, NHTSA placed the preemption language in the preamble, which generally is acknowledged to be advisory in nature only. But placement of the language in the text gives it force of law. The final rule takes effect on Dec. 8. Full story available here.