In a suit claiming a tire defect caused a crash that left the plaintiff paralyzed, Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. may not introduce evidence that the driver smoked marijuana the night before, a federal judge in Newark has ruled.

The judge can introduce evidence that the driver’s errors contributed to the crash, and may seek to apportion liability to the driver, who is not a party in the case, the judge ruled in Malik v. Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. But the jury may not be told of the driver’s marijuana use because its probative value is weak, and a jury is likely to be inflamed by evidence of use of intoxicating substances, U.S. District Judge William Walls of the District of New Jersey ruled.

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