Previously, evidence of a plaintiff’s failure to buckle up could not be used as evidence of contributory evidence. Now it can. Potentially a big deal. There is an excellent analysis on the Carrington Carroll blog:
Under the Texas Supreme Court’s decisions in Kerby v. ACC and Carnation Co. v. Wong, evidence of a plaintiff’s failure to fasten his or her seat belt has been inadmissible in Texas personal injury cases for more than 40 years. A unanimous Supreme Court has now overruled Kerby and Carnation, holding that “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 [Texas’s current] proportionate-responsibility statute, provided that the plaintiff’s conduct caused or was a cause of his damages.”
Discussing Nabors Well Services, Ltd. v. Romero
Supreme Court of Texas, No. 13-0136 (February 13, 2015)
Also discussed in the SCOTXBLOG which tracks articles about the case.
Carroll, K. (2015, February). Sua Sponte – A Dallas Appellate Blog by Carrington Coleman: UNANIMOUS TEXAS SUPREME COURT BUCKLES DOWN ON BUCKLING UP [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.dallasappellateblog.com/2015/02/unanimous-texas-supreme-court-buckles.html
Cruse, D. (2015, February). Nabors Well Services, Ltd. F/K/A Pool Company Texas, Ltd. And Lauro Bernal Garcia v. Asuncion Romero…, 13-0136 – Supreme Court of Texas Blog [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://data.scotxblog.com/scotx/no/13-0136