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Toyota settles wrongful death suit over defective vehicle

When we purchase a product, it is not unreasonable to expect it to work well and not cause us harm. However, a dangerous product can suddenly change a person's life by causing an accident, resulting in injury or costly medical bills. Texans who have been injured because of a defective product should know their legal rights and understand the options for seeking compensation for damages.

With these issues in mind, readers in the Galveston area will be interested to know that Toyota has settled a wrongful death suit involving the sudden and unintended acceleration of its vehicles. This is thought to be one of the first of many lawsuits that will be settled over the vehicular defect.

In the case, the family of a deceased couple claimed that the man and woman were killed in 2010 when their vehicle suddenly accelerated and slammed into a wall. Toyota reached an agreement with the family, although the figures were not released. According to Toyota and its attorneys, the company may decide to settle some cases, but it is retaining the right to defend its products at trial. Toyota previously settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $10 million in 2010, before the current cases were consolidated for the US District Court in Santa Ana.

The recent settlement is the result of what in legal parlance is called a bellwether lawsuit, meaning the case is likely to be a gauge for decisions in future cases regarding the same defective product. Texans who have similar concerns about product liability would do well to consult with an attorney with experience in suing for damages.

kiiitv.com, "Toyota settles bellwether wrongful death lawsuit," Andrew Dalton, Jan. 18, 2013

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