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NHTSA pre-emption draws protest from 26 AGs

As we noted Sept. 8, trial lawyers are livid about a proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make its standard on roof crush strength dispositive in later liability litigation -- thus preventing later lawyers and juries from endlessly second-guessing whether a car roof design meeting the standard at the time of its sale was truly defective or not. Now 26 of the 50 state attorneys general have signed a letter to NHTSA opposing the pre-emption provision. The National Conference of State Legislatures, a reliable opponent of most federal-level steps toward liability reform, doesn't like the idea either. According to the AP coverage:

"State governments and the federal government will have to cover millions of dollars in health care costs which they will pass along to taxpayers, costs that, by all rights, should be the responsibility of manufacturers," the attorneys general wrote.

Comments reader Peter Eipers: "...responsibility of the drivers, I'm sure he meant to say."



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.