Toyota to face three trials in 2013 over sudden-acceleration claims

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 13, 2011

U.S. District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana said that there will be three trials in 2013 over the unintended acceleration cases that Toyota Motor Corp. faces. The judge said that the first trial, scheduled on Feb. 19, 2013, will be about the claims by the families of two people who were in a fatal crash in Utah in 2010. This suit was junked last month due to jurisdictional grounds but it was later reinstated upon the refilling of the families’ claim.

July 2013 is the date for the first trial over claims of economic loss linked to unintended acceleration. A second wrongful death case has been scheduled to go on trial in November 2013.

Judge Selna said that he will likely limit the economic loss trial to claims from car owners in three states. At a hearing on Tuesday, Judge Selna said that he doubts if he will include another state to the class action.

He told lawyers to pick the three states that will be included in the economic-loss trial. These cases, which were filed as class actions on behalf of all car owners in a state, assert that Toyota pushed down their vehicles’ value by its failure to divulge or repair defects related to unintended acceleration.

The three states that the plaintiffs' lawyers have chosen are California, New York and Florida, which have more liberal consumer laws. On the other hand, Toyota lawyers want to include cases from states with laws that are not as consumer friendly, including Georgia, Ohio and Illinois. [source: BusinessWeek]

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