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Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.

Docket No.: 08-1314
Certiorari Granted: 05/24/10
Argued: November 3, 2010
Decided: 02/23/11

Topics:

Supremacy Clause, pre-emption clause, preemption

PartyNames: Delbert Williamson, et al. v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc., et al.
Petitioner: Delbert Williamson, et al.
Respondent: Mazda Motor of America, Inc., et al.

Court Below: Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three
Citation: 84 Cal. Rptr. 3d 545
Supreme Court Docket

Delbert Williamson, et al.
v.
Mazda Motor of America, Inc., et al.
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO QUESTION 1 PRESENTED BY THE PETITION.JUSTICE KAGAN TOOK NO PART

Question Presented:

1. Where Congress has provided that compliance with a federal motor vehicle safety standard does not exempt a person from liability at common law, 49 U.S.C. ยง 30103(e), does a federal minimum safety standard allowing vehicle manufacturers to install either lap-only or lap/shoulder seatbelts in certain seating positions impliedly preempt a state common-law claim alleging that the manufacturer should have installed a lap/shoulder belt in one of those seating positions? 2. Under this Court's recent ruling in Wyeth v. Levine, _ S. Ct. _, 2009 WL 529172 (2009), does a federal motor vehicle safety standard allowing vehicle manufacturers to install either lap-only or lap/shoulder seatbelts impliedly preempt a state tort suit alleging that the manufacturer should have warned consumers of the known dangers of a lap-only seatbelt installed in one of its vehicles?

Question:

Does the NHTSA regulation allowing vehicle manufacturers to install either lap-only or lap/shoulder seatbelts in certain seating positions impliedly preempt a state-law claim alleging that the manufacturer should have installed lap/should seatbelts in one of its seating positions?

Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.
ORAL ARGUMENT

11/03/10

Listen to Oral Argument in Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.
Holding: reversed
Vote: 8-0
Recused: J.
Opinion By:
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