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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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Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.
Case Documents

1Opinion in Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.
2Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc. Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
3Opinion in Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.
4Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc. Oral Argument Audio
5Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc. Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
6Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc. Oral Argument Audio
Additional documents for this case are pending review.