Late December brought important news for people who filed claims against Toyota Motor Corp. for accidents, injuries and deaths in connection with sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. Earlier this month, we blogged about a $17.35 million fine filed against Toyota by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration for reacting slowly to floor mat problems in some Lexus vehicles. That fine has now been dwarfed by a record $1 billion payout by Toyota to settle hundreds of lawsuits filed by owners who said that the value of their Toyota vehicles plummeted after the automaker issued recalls to correct unintended acceleration problems. The settlement came as a surprise to James O. Cunningham and other Orlando Toyota recall accident attorneys, as it is unprecedented in its size. It is the largest in U.S. history that involves product liability in automobiles.
The series of wrongful death claims began with an especially grisly accident in 2009 that killed a California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members. The CHP officer was driving his family in a Toyota-made Lexus in suburban San Diego when the accelerator became stuck, resulting in speeds up to 120 mph. The Lexus struck a SUV, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and burst into flames, killing everyone in the car. Accident investigators determined that the accelerator became stuck due to an improperly-sized floor mat. This led to a series of recalls that affected more than 14 million Toyota vehicles.
Toyota initially cited driver error as the cause of the sticking accelerators, before admitting later that floor mats and sticking gas pedals caused vehicles to speed out of control. Eventually, U.S. District Judge James Selna consolidated the lawsuits into one large suit. Judge Selna divided the cases into two categories: economic loss and wrongful death. It’s important to note that the recent $1.1 billion settlement only applies to the economic loss lawsuits. The wrongful death suits are not affected by this settlement.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by sudden acceleration in a Toyota vehicle and you have questions about your rights and legal options, contact Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587). Mr. Cunningham has been serving Central Florida residents since 1977 and is one of the most experienced and respected attorneys in the area. He has law offices located throughout the area and can meet with you at the office closet to your location. A full list of these locations is available at the bottom of this page.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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