The family of a woman killed in a head-on collision can sue Mazda, the manufacturer of the van she was riding in, after the Supreme Court held that some state tort suits are not preempted by federal auto safety standards. Many have hailed the Court's decision in Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc. as a victory for consumers' right to bring automobile defect suits, which often play a meaningful role in improving product safety.
U.S. District Judge James Selna approved a discovery plan for the multi-district litigation involving the alleged defective Toyota vehicles. Hundreds of lawsuits against the Japanese automakers have been filed in both federal and state courts. The federal cases have been consolidated and will be heard in Judge Selna's court in Santa Ana, California.