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TX: Evidence of Seat Belt Non-Use is Admissible to Apportion Responsibility, by Christopher J. Robinette, Torts Prof Blog (with hat tip to Jill Lens (Baylor)!)


For years, evidence of seat belt use was prohibited at trial. The Texas Supreme Court changed that rule of law with this case. This ruling will have a major impact on this area of the law. -CCE

The Texas Supreme Court case, which was announced on Friday, is Nabors Wells Services, Ltd. v. Romero. The case (pdf) is here:  Download TX Sup Ct = Seat Belt Admiss  From the opinion:

We hold relevant evidence of use or nonuse of seat belts, and relevant evidence of a plaintiff’s pre-occurrence, injury-causing conduct generally, is admissible for the purpose of apportioning responsibility under our proportionate-responsibility statute, provided that the plaintiff’s conduct caused or was a cause of his damages.