Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Texas issued an opinion in the case of Nabors Well Services, LTD., et. al v. Asuncion Romero, et. al., which overruled years of established case law in the state of Texas. In this case, it was alleged Plaintiffs family members were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, which was found to be the fault of a third party Nabors Well Services vehicle. During the accident several plaintiffs were ejected from their vehicle and died.
The Court looked at whether under ever evolving Texas law and public policy that now a Plaintiff could be held partially liable for the injuries they receive due to their failure to wear a seatbelt. Never mind the fact that the overall accident was the fault of another third party negligent actor.
In reaching its determination the Court opined that in overruling the established case law that non-seat belt use could NOT be held against the injured plaintiff that now every state has seat belt laws mandating their usage and the public is very much aware of the potential harms they can suffer in not buckling up. In their reasoning this information led them to their conclusion that if an individual does not wear their seat belt and is injured in an accident then after presentation of qualified evidence the injured person can be found partially liable for the harms visited upon them.