A wrongful death lawsuit and simultaneous personal injury lawsuit ended with an Oklahoma jury awarding the victims and their families $3 Million late last week. The plaintiffs contended that the Toyota Camry accelerated unexpectedly due to a faulty accelerator that should have been recalled several years before the crash. The car accident killed the passenger of the vehicle and seriously injured the driver. Multiple lawsuits and complaints were filed against the car manufacturer with claims that the company was negligent in not fully investigating the dangerous situation and issuing a dangerous product recall immediately. The car company allegedly knew about the hazardous condition but apparently avoided recalling their cars for replacement or repair of the defective parts. Experienced personal injury lawyers believe that many other injured accident victims have yet to step forward. Some note that the car acceleration problem may have contributed to other motor vehicle accidents and this needs to be further investigated.
The recent win for the Oklahoma plaintiffs comes in stark contrast to the New York and California cases that resulted in the car company not being held liable for the car accident injuries. Toyota has reportedly decided to settle the punitive damages aspect of the case in light of the jury’s decision in favor of the plaintiffs. The corporation is likely trying to limit the damage to their image and amount of money that they will need to pay the injured woman and the family of the woman killed in the accident. Consumer product safety specialists explain that this was not just a major win for the accident victims but for all citizens who should be protected from negligence on the part of large corporations. This case will set a legal precedent for injury victims across the country. It should also serve as a warning to companies and factories about the need for proper manufacturing of products as well as prompt investigation and recall of dangerous products. More about the sudden car acceleration lawsuits and product liability case here.
Photo by W. Robert Howell from Charlotte, NC, United States (still here.) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons