Mendoza v. WIS Int’l, Inc. (Majority, with Dissenting)Annotate this Case
Corina Mendoza was a passenger in the backseat of a vehicle operated by Anthony Adams when Adams ran into the back of a parked excavator. Mendoza filed a complaint against Adams and WIS International, Inc. and Washington Inventory Services, Inc. (collectively, WIS) seeking damages for her injuries and alleging that Adams was acting in the course of his employment with WIS at the time of the accident. WIS and Adams pled the affirmative defense of comparative fault, citing Mendoza’s failure to wear a seat belt at the time of the accident. WIS and Adams then filed motions challenging the constitutionality of Ark. Code Ann. 27-37-703, which restricts the admissibility of seat belt nonuse in civil actions. The Supreme Court accepted a request from the district court to determine the certified question of whether section 27-37-703 is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court held that section 27-37-703 is procedural and therefore offends the principle of separation of powers under article 4, section 2 of amendment 80, section 3 of the Arkansas Constitution.