Toyota asked judge to dismiss a shareholders’ lawsuit over recalls

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 7, 2011

Toyota Motor Corp. is seeking the order of U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer to dismiss a shareholders’ litigation over recalls that relate to problems in unintended acceleration that caused the company’s stock to decrease 20 percent in January and February 2010.

Specifically, the shareholders led by the Maryland State Retirement and Pension system complained that internal documents reveal that Toyota had deliberately hidden the acceleration problems in the U.S.

Furthermore, they contested that Toyota knew about the flaw way back in 2000 and “stonewalled” regulators in order to prevent recalls.

In October, the investors amended their complaint to include the Japanese law claims for the company’s common stock registered on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, rather than only those security law claims for the American depositary receipts registered in the New York Stock Exchange.

According to Toyota lawyer Kay Kochenderfer at a hearing Monday in Los Angeles, the amended complaint would increase the class of shareholders by more than 3,000 percent.

Fischer stated that it will take at least two weeks to release a ruling on the company’s request. With regards to the Japanese securities law claims, Fischer stated that she was not inclined to exercise jurisdiction on them.

The investors’ lawyer, Blair Nicholas, debated that the Japanese law claims were based on the same set of facts and seek the same remedies as the U.S. law claim. For the sake of efficiency, Nicholas urged Fischer to apply so-called supplemental jurisdiction over the foreign law claims.

Topics: toyota

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