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Insurers Not Strapped by Statutory Limit of Reduction of Damages for Unbelted Backseat Passengers

Motor Vehicle Litigation / November 1, 2023

MCL 257.710e(8) cannot be applied to limit the reduction of a backseat passenger plaintiff’s damages based on comparative negligence. Because the plain and unambiguous language of MCL 257.710e(3) requires that only operators and front seat passengers wear safety belts, defendants can introduce, without limitation, evidence of a backseat passenger’s comparative negligence under common law to reduce a plaintiff’s damages. Defendants are not limited to the 5% reduction.


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