Judge in Toyota case to probe alleged drug-using juror

Article by Anita Panait, on October 15, 2013

California Superior Court Judge Lee Smalley Edmon will probe into a juror's complaint that a fellow panelist in a Toyota Motor Corp. trial has come to court "high" and isn't participating in deliberations. The trial pertains to a death of a woman allegedly caused by unintended acceleration by a 2006 Toyota Camry.

Edmon has told lawyers for the plaintiffs and Toyota that a juror had asked a bailiff whether there was a way to "get rid of a juror who is not participating in discussions and comes to work high every morning." She told the lawyers that a court security official who has shared an elevator with the juror in question said that he smelled of marijuana.

Edmon said that he will individually and privately ask the jurors whether one of them isn't taking part in the deliberations. She said that the juror in question would not be directly asked about using marijuana.

Garo Mardirossian, lawyer for the plaintiif, had remarked that raising the issue could lead to legal issues for that juror. He added if the juror was taking marijuana for medical reasons, such questions could be discriminatory. The jury is to rule on whether Toyota is liable to the death of a woman whose Camry suddenly accelerated out of control and collided onto a tree.

Topics: toyota, lawsuit

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