Consumer victory: U.S. House thwarts bill
that would limit car rental companies’ liability

(4/5/2023) -- The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) reported that consumers on April 1 won an important vote in the U.S. House of Representatives that would have limited car rental companies' liability in the 15 states that currently have vicarious liability laws.

According to ATLA, an amendment to the Transportation Bill would have overridden state law, given the most special of special interest protection to car rental companies, and left consumers without recourse. According to ATLA, vicarious liability protects innocent bystanders from injuries caused by irresponsible drivers of rented cars.

The amendment was defeated by a voice vote Thursday afternoon on the House floor. According to ATLA.

The National Conference of State Legislatures decried the amendment as “a blatant attempt by the U.S. Congress to preempt existing state laws regarding vicarious liability for rental car owners. This amendment has been introduced without the benefit of a hearing or debate on how this amendment would impact existing state laws.”