The Seat Belt Defense Reconsidered: A Return To Accountability in Tort Law?
29 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019
Date Written: 1986
This article, after presenting a brief history of the seat belt defense, will address the viability of the defense in light of recent statutory enactments. We will see how many such enactments actually serve to thwart, rather than promote, the defense. We will then discuss the application of the defense in terms of the damages recoverable by plaintiffs in auto collision cases. The defense will then be considered in the context of products liability actions, with particular emphasis on economic implications. The article will conclude with some comments on the relationship of the defense to notions of autonomy and accountability. This discussion will suggest that the seat belt defense has important implications in terms of both economic efficiency and individual accountability.
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