Jury selection has begun in the wrongful death suit associated with alleged imperfections in the design of the Toyota Camry. The case focuses on a 2009 incident that killed a California woman as she was driving in the Upland area. Official reports show the woman’s vehicle reached 100 mph. Even though she tried to stop, her brake pedal was useless. The broken accelerator sent the woman careening through traffic, but she eventually ran into a tree. She suffered fatal injuries in the crash.
The woman’s family is just one of many who have filed similar suits throughout the country, each alleging that Toyota’s flawed design led to the deaths of their loved ones. The cases have been filed in both state and federal courts. This trial in California is expected to set an important precedent for the way in which the dozens of other cases are handled.
Toyota denies any connection between their engineering and design and the fatal accelerator defect. The company’s investigators reportedly concluded the woman’s vehicle did not have any mechanical problems, and it appeared the brakes were functioning properly. Toyota representatives say they intend to vigorously defend against each of the allegations.
So far, the controversy has already cost the automaker an astounding amount of money. Some drivers and their relatives reportedly chose to settle their cases. Toyota has handed out more than $1 billion in connection with those suits. The drivers who received the settlements argued that their vehicles had lost value because of the existing allegations against the manufacturer. Toyota reports the company settled those cases simply to be rid of the litigation. They have not legally assumed responsibility for the manufacturing problem.
If your family member has been hurt or killed because of a defective vehicle, you could have legal recourse. Consult a qualified personal injury attorney to find out more about your rights and responsibilities. Professional attorneys can help you get the money you need and deserve.
Source: money.cnn.com, “Toyota wrongful death trial kicks off in California” James O’Toole, Jul. 23, 2013