Lake v. The Memphis Landsmen, LLCAnnotate this Case
A concrete truck collided with a shuttle bus used to transport passengers between an airport and a rental car facility. A passenger who was injured during the collision and his wife filed an action against the bus owner, bus manufacturer, manufacturer of the bus windows, and franchisor of the rental car business. Plaintiffs based their claims in negligence and products liability, arguing that the bus was unsafe because it did not have passenger seatbelts, had windows made of tempered glass, and provided perimeter seating instead of forward-facing rows. A jury found Plaintiffs had sustained damages but assessed 100 percent of the fault to the corporate owner of the concrete truck, which had previously settled with Plaintiffs. On appeal, the court of appeals held that federal law preempted the seatbelt and window-glass claims and ruled that the trial court erred by failing to grant a directed verdict on the perimeter-seating claim. The Supreme Court remanded. On remand, the court of appeals affirmed its prior judgment. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the seatbelt and window-glass claims were not preempted by federal law; and (2) the evidence sufficiently demonstrated causation in fact as to the perimeter-seating claim. Remanded.