Toyota reached a confidential settlement with the victims of a deadly crash in Oklahoma to avoid punitive damages after a jury found a 2005 Camry’s on board electronics system was defective and that defect caused it to accelerate suddenly. The day before the jury awarded $1.5 Million in monetary damages to the driver of the car who was injured and $1.5 Million to the family of the passengers who were killed in the 2007 crash.
A punitive damages phased was called for after the jury decided that Toyota acted with “reckless disregard” for the rights of others. By law, the jury would have been limited to punitive damages of an additional $3 Million dollars. This settlement is significant because Toyota has vociferously denied that there is anything wrong with the electronics in their vehicles.
A University of Richmond law professor who teaches about product liability agreed with the settlement and further noted that the verdict came in a state that has a reputation for being conservative. What this demonstrates is that juries can be trusted to take a complex issue, break down the facts and come to a reasonable conclusion. This is much like the settlement that Toyota made in 2012 for $1 Billion dollars to resolve hundreds of lawsuits because of sudden acceleration.
Toyota has previously blamed any and all sudden acceleration issues on drivers and floor mats and one of the results of these lawsuits has been a systematic recall of the affected Toyota products, Even after hundreds of those lawsuits have been settled, hundreds more remain. This case was the first time where the electronics were the only issue. Not mats, no pedals just electronics and that was the key.
This is where the value of an aggressive and smart legal team comes into full view. Toyota has the resources to overwhelm some lawyers and there are a few that stand their ground. If you care about the result of your case it is imperative that you choose a law firm on reputation in the legal community and their results. This means more than a great television commercial at 2am.
At Guenard & Bozarth we take great pride in the reputation we have earned. We are personal injury litigators and that means we are unafraid to take your case to trial to get you the result you deserve. Call us at 888-809-1075 or visit us at We Can Help!