Toyota Gets its First L in Court, Pays $3 Mil

Toyota blood is in the water, personal injury lawyers nationwide pick up the scent.

Toyota has, to date, paid 1.6 billion dollars in out-of-court settlements for accidents that have resulted in personal injury or death from unintended-acceleration of Camry models dating back as far as 2005. Now a new chapter is unfolding as Toyota recently got handed their first court loss. The company was ordered to pay $3 Million dollars to Jean Bookout, 84, whose 2005 Toyota Camry sped out of control, injuring Bookout and killing her friend, Barbara Schwarz, who was in the passenger seat. Toyota's attorneys failed to demonstrate that Bookout was responsible for the crash.

Instead, the jury found that the Camry's electronic throttle control system was faulty, and in addition, it was decided Toyota acted with recklessness since it was stated they had known about the malfunction as early as 2004. Ten million vehicles were recalled in 2009, 2010. This win could set a new precedent. Toyota has won 3 previous unintended-acceleration cases in court, proving driver error was to blame. A fifth trial is set for next month, a sixth trial will be heard in February, followed by another 200 cases that are pending. The majority of the claims relate to loose floor mats, sticking pedals and defective electronic throttle control systems.

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