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Judge Rules Toyota Must Face Class-Action Suits

December 2, 2010

Judge Rules Toyota Must Face Class-Action Suits

A U.S. judge has ruled that Toyota Motor Corp. must face the class-action lawsuits car owners have filed against the company, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. This decision finalizes “a tentative ruling issued Nov. 19,” the article explains.

U.S. District Judge James V. Selna made the ruling, rejecting Toyota’s request to have the case dismissed, Bloomberg reports. The car company sought this dismissal by claiming “the plaintiffs failed to plead specific losses or identify an actual defect,” according to the news source.

Selna explained his ruling, saying that “It is true that plaintiffs do not generally allege the precise dollar value of their losses, but that level of specificity is not required at the pleadings state,” the article reports.

A Toyota spokeswoman countered the decision by saying in an e-mailed statement that “this ruling does not address the merits of plaintiffs’ allegations and does not consider any evidence,” Bloomberg explains, further reporting the spokeswoman said these lawsuits are “based on a wholly unsubstantiated claim that there is a defect in Toyota’s electronic throttle control system that causes unintended acceleration.”

She goes on to say that “no credible scientific theory or proof has been advanced to support the allegations,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The manufacturer continued by saying that “consumers couldn’t sue for losses on vehicles that hadn’t experienced a sudden, unintended acceleration defect,” the article reports.

Bloomberg’s article goes on to explain that Selna again sided with plaintiffs on this point, saying that “experiencing an SUA defect is not required for standing.”

However, the news source writes that “Selna dismissed the consumers’ claim of unjust enrichment, finding it wasn’t a proper cause of action under California law. He also dismissed some warranty claims, including one alleging that Toyota’s advertising created an express warranty,” which the Spokeswoman said the car manufacturer was pleased about.

Nevertheless, Steve W. Berman, who is co-lead for the consumers in this case, explained “We believe — and intend to prove — that Toyota knew the gravity of this issue, and failed to warn consumers, or take action to address the serious problem of unintended acceleration,” Bloomberg reports.

If you or a loved one owns one of the affected Toyota models and have experienced problems with sudden unintended acceleration or stuck accelerators, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with automobile recalls. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.

References:
Fisk, Margaret Cronin and Bill Callahan. (December 1, 2010) “Toyota Must Face Group Lawsuits Over Vehicles’ Losses.” Retrieved on December 1, 2010 from Bloomberg Businessweek.

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