Seat Belt Evidence Admissibility – S.B. 439
Displaces a longstanding provision that had excluded seat belt non-usage
Displaces a longstanding provision that had excluded seat belt non-usage evidence for any purpose if the claimant stipulated to a reduction of damages by a mere five percent. Juries will be allowed to consider and use evidence that a claimant had failed to wear seat belt when they determine the damages resulting from motor vehicle crashes. In the case of adult drivers and passengers who bring product liability claims against vehicle and component sellers, evidence of the claimant’s failure to buckle-up is admissible without limitation. For other types of claims, an adult’s failure to use a seat belt may be considered by juries with respect to the exacerbation and contribution to that claimant’s injuries, but not to establish comparative negligence or fault. For child passengers, allows juries to consider seat belt non-usage evidence in support of a finding that the driver was negligent in contributing to the child’s injuries, but the evidence may not be considered in determining injury causation. The failure to use a seat belt is an affirmative defense, that the defendant must support with admissible opinion testimony. Finally, exceptions apply so that seat belt non-usage evidence will be excluded when an at-fault driver is determined to be intoxicated or fleeing law enforcement. The bill is applicable to claims arising from collisions that occur on or after July 6, 2021.
ATRA Reiterates Support for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Use to Address Mass Tort Litigation, Urges Meaningful Dialogue Amid Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing
The lack of oversight and transparency around third-party litigation funding threatens the integrity of our legal system
Together, let’s forge a legal landscape that makes equitable access to justice a living reality for all Georgians.
This is an opportunity to reassess the practices and regulations surrounding private-attorney contracting and to enact reforms that promote fairness, transparency and value for taxpayer dollars.
Allowing the company to continue the bankruptcy process will help ensure equitable and efficient resolution in complex mass tort claims