A motor vehicle accident in California in 2002 killed a rear-seat passenger in a minivan who was wearing a lap-only seat belt, the only type of safety belt provided by Mazda at that time. The victim's family brought a product liability lawsuit against the auto maker, alleging that a lap-and-shoulder belt would have saved her life.
The teenage daughter of a Pennsylvania couple received a DTP vaccine made by Wyeth when she was an infant. She developed a seizure disorder afterward and is now profoundly impaired. After many years, her case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, and its ruling will have a huge effect on whether federal law protects vaccine manufacturers in product liability lawsuits.