The first of several wrongful death cases against the automaker Toyota is set to begin. This lawsuit is centered around the death of a 66-year-old woman who the family says was the victim of a horrifying car accident due to the sudden acceleration of her vehicle.
According to court filings, the woman’s 2006 Toyota Camry hit speeds of up to 100 mph in a 30 mph zone because of the sudden acceleration. Photos taken of the vehicle after the accident show the vehicle’s emergency brake pulled up, which was an attempt by the woman to slow her car down. Her vehicle struck a tree and a telephone pole, and she died at the accident scene.
Toyota has maintained that there was no problem with the woman’s Camry and asserts that these types of crashes are due to driver error, floor mats under the accelerator or a stuck gas pedal. However, the auto manufacturer recently agreed to a $1 billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit where the plaintiffs claimed the values of their vehicles plunged after the company recalled millions of its vehicles.
This trial is expected to last about two months and will serve as a “bellwether case.” This means that a judge has chosen this case to see what the possible judgments will be in other similar cases.
There are currently over 80 such cases filed across the country, with one in Michigan and one in Oklahoma expected to go to trial this year.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to defective products of any nature, including those affecting a vehicle, contact a California personal injury attorney to discuss your options. You may be able to receive compensation for such claims as pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages and other damages.
pjstar.com, “Toyota sudden acceleration case set to begin” Greg Risling, Jul. 21, 2013