Monday, March 15, 2010

Court reviews products liability and negligence claims in a case about a bus accident

CLIFTON LAKE, ET AL. v. THE MEMPHIS LANDSMEN, L.L.C., ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App March 15, 2010)

This is an appeal from a jury verdict in a negligence and products liability case. Appellant-Husband was injured when the bus, on which he was a passenger, collided with a concrete truck. Appellant-Husband and Appellant-Wife filed suit against Appellees- the bus manufacturer, the bus owner, and the franchisor.

Following trial, the jury found that the Appellants had suffered $8,543,630.00 in damages, but found that none of the Appellees were at fault and apportioned one hundred percent of the fault to a non-party. Appellants appeal.

We find that Appellants' claims based on the use of tempered glass in the side windows of the bus, and the lack of passenger seatbelts in the bus are preempted by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. section 30101 et seq. Further, we find that the Appellants failed to present evidence that the use of perimeter seating in the bus caused the injuries. Consequently, we find that the trial court erred in not granting Appellees' motions for directed verdict on the Appellants' claims based on the use of perimeter seating. Reversed and remanded.

Opinion may be found at:

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