I haven't written that much lately about tort law, but it certainly has not gotten better. Here is an example set of facts:
19-year-old Sidney Odom happily went along when 20-year-old Travis Kirby and 18-year-old Riley Strickland asked "Who wants to go to the Beacon?""”a bar in Terry, Mississippi. A long night of drinking and driving came to an end at about 3 am when Kirby's Camaro hit a tree at about 90 mph. As none of the three were wearing seatbelts, all were ejected from the vehicle. Kirby, whose blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit at 0.25%, died at the scene; the other two were injured.
Think for a moment about who you reasonably believe to be at fault for the accident. Now, here is who actually was forced to accept liability:
- The dealer who sold them the car
- The shop that installed their tires
- Goodyear tire company
All you can say is, huh? When looking at modern tort outcomes, a much better predictor of legally assigned liability than trying to decide who was trully at fault is to look at the net worth of everyone who had any relation to the victims, and assuming those with the highest net worth will end up being heald "liable."