Damages

A California appeals court vacated a $30 million noneconomic damage award granted to the parents of a 20-year-old woman who died after she crashed into a tractor-trailer parked on the side of the highway when she swerved to avoid hitting a driver who made an illegal U-turn. The amount appears to have been influenced by the parents’ counsel, who said of the truck driver at the jury trial: “You can’t stone him to death,” but you can “make him pay.”

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Biden Reverses Trump’s Lax Fuel Emissions Standards

California officials and environmentalists are claiming victory after President Joe Biden directed federal regulators to put the brakes on his predecessor’s attempt to gift automakers with a nationwide fuel emissions standard that would have allowed them to produce cheaper, dirtier cars.

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Study Ties Rise in Car Ownership to Entrance of Ride-Hail Services in Cities

If people can just hail a ride from a five-star Lyft or Uber driver at a moment’s notice, will they even bother owning cars? According to research published in the journal iScience on Wednesday, the answer is yes: vehicle ownership actually increased across cities alongside the arrival of ride-hail services.

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Emissions Standards

An appeals court in Texas dismissed the state’s claims against Volkwagen Germany and Audi Germany over the car manufacturer’s installation of software in diesel cars that evaded compliance with federally mandated emissions standards. The companies’ activities were not “purposefully directed at Texas,” so its contacts with the state are “insufficient to confer specific jurisdiction.”

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