Wrongful Death Case Against Toyota
Wrongful death suits comprise an unfortunate component of the personal injury legal field. These lawsuits are typically brought by the family of a deceased individual against a negligent tortfeasor whose negligent actions resulted in the death of the individual. Defendants in these cases are sometimes doctors who have engaged in medical malpractice, people whose reckless driving caused the death of another, etc.
In a case that began jury selection on Monday, July 22nd, the defendant is Toyota Motor Corp. It is alleged by the plaintiffs that, in 2009, the deceased individual’s Toyota Camry began to accelerate uncontrollably, leading to a crash of the vehicle into a telephone pole and the death of the woman driving the car.
This is not the first case of its kind against Toyota; it is, however, the first that has made its way all the way to a trial by jury. (The rest have been settled before the commencement of the trial.) In this individual case, the family or Noriko Uno contends that despite the fact that she pressed the brake pedal repeatedly, her Camry accelerated rapidly to speeds over 100 mph, causing the fatal crash.
Because this is the first case of its specific type to actually make it into the courtroom, it will be a good measure of how these sorts of claims stack up against the auto giant’s defenses in front of a jury. If the jury rules in favor of the family of the deceased woman, many other victims of defective automobiles could be encouraged to take their claims to court. If, however, the jury sides with Toyota, who contends that there was absolutely no defect in the victim’s vehicle, victims of automotive defects could be inclined to accept low settlement offers from major auto corporations, expecting that taking their claim to court would be both costly and futile.
The fact that Toyota has settled previous claims should not be interpreted as an admission of wrongdoing, the corporation has said. Instead, the company says, it settled simply as a way to end litigation. Still, in the past few years, Toyota has been forced to recall roughly 8 million of their vehicles because of problems related to the gas-pedal, which is at the center of the plaintiff’s claim in the case that is now going to trial.