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Spier v. Barker

323 N.E.2d 164 (1974)

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Spier v. Barker

New York Court of Appeals

323 N.E.2d 164 (1974)

Facts

While driving, Spier (plaintiff) collided with a tractor-trailer owned by Barker (defendant). Spier, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, was thrown out of her car, which then pinned her legs. Spier brought suit. An expert witness for Barker presented testimony on the effectiveness of seatbelts in preventing injury. The expert also testified that had Spier been wearing a seatbelt, she would not have been ejected, with ejection causing the worst of her injuries. The trial court instructed the jury that it could choose not to award damages if some or all of Spier’s injuries would have been prevented by her wearing a seatbelt. The trial court found there was no cause of action, which the appellate court affirmed. The New York Court of Appeals granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gabrielli, J.)

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