Jury Told That Toyota Knew of Sudden Acceleration Risk in $20 Million Wrongful Death Case


October 07, 2013

The first Toyota sudden acceleration lawsuit to proceed to jury trial began opening arguments in Los Angeles a few weeks ago.  The plaintiff’s attorney representing the widow and parents of Noriko Uno told the jury that Toyota Motor Corp. knew of the potential for the accelerator pedal to get stuck in certain vehicles but declined to install a brake-override system that could have prevented Mr. Uno’s death, according to a Bloomberg report.  This is the first Toyota sudden acceleration lawsuit to proceed to jury trial of 85 personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits that have been consolidated in Los Angeles Superior Courts.

Uno’s tragic wrongful death lawsuit arises out of a set of harrowing facts that were experienced in various forms by drivers involved in collisions involving sudden acceleration throughout the U.S.  Mr. Uno’s vehicle allegedly accelerated out of control and slammed into a tree after being struck by another driver that blew through a stop sign.  The 66-year-old man suffered fatal injuries in the crash.

Although Toyota previously entered into a settlement in which it agreed to pay $1.63 billion following a vehicle recall of more than ten million vehicles internationally, this settlement only covered the claims for economic loss suffered by owners of the recalled vehicles.  The recall was necessitated by widespread complaints and multiple accidents by drivers who indicated that the gas pedal became stuck or the floor mat got stuck under the accelerator of their vehicle.

During opening statements of the $20 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit, the attorney for the family not only told the jury that Toyota knew that there was a risk of sudden acceleration but had already implemented counter-measures in models sold in Europe according to Bloomberg.  The jury was informed that prior to the fatal sudden acceleration crash and vehicle recall, Toyota had already installed a brake-override system in vehicles sold in Europe.  Plaintiff’s counsel explained that the cost to implement the system in the U.S. would have been negligible because it merely involved updating the vehicle’s software.

The attorney for Toyota told the jury that the vehicle involved in the fatal crash was not a model covered by the recall.  He also claimed that a brake override system would not have prevented the accident because Mr. Una did not attempt to use the brakes prior to the collision.  This Toyota sudden acceleration accident lawsuit will be watched closely because it may provide a harbinger for what to expect in subsequent cases.

If you or a loved one is injured or a loved one is lost in a sudden acceleration crash, our Atlanta accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.  No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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