Toyota Says Driver at Fault in Sudden Acceleration Lawsuit
Toyota filed papers in federal court this week asserting its defense against numerous sudden acceleration lawsuits. The documents appear to blame driver error, rather than mechanical failure, in at least one case.
According to The Huffington Post, court documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, CA show that Toyota is citing the actions of 66-year-old Paul Van Alfen in causing a November 2010 car crash which left Van Alfen and his future daughter-in-law dead. Van Alfen’s son and wife were also injured in the accident that occurred when their vehicle crashed into a stone wall as they exited Interstate 80 near Wendover, Utah. The two surviving family members claim Van Alfen attempted to brake but was unable to stop the car.
Toyota is countering these claims by arguing that the black box on his 2008 Camry shows that Van Alfen never pushed the brake. Police have said that skid marks were present at the scene of the accident, which could indicate that the driver was in fact attempting to brake. Witnesses also reported seeing the vehicle’s brake lights prior to the accident.
The Huffington Post reports that Toyota is facing nearly 200 lawsuits from victims and families who claim that sudden acceleration contributed to numerous injuries and deaths in 2009 and 2010. Toyota issued two separate recalls of several different vehicles, including specific year models of its Camry, Corolla, Avalon, Prius, Tacoma, Tundra and Highlander lines.
Toyota’s latest court filing represents a shift from its January 2010 stance, when it announced that mechanical problems with some gas pedals had caused some drivers to experience sudden acceleration. According to the Huffington Post article, the company $10 million to settle the case of one California family stemming from an accident in which an off-duty police officer crashed into a ravine, killing all four people inside.
The Van Alfen case is the first lawsuit scheduled to go to trial in the pending Toyota sudden acceleration litigation. Proceedings are set to begin in the Santa Ana district court in 2013.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident you believe was caused by the sudden acceleration of your Toyota vehicle, you need to understand your legal rights. The experienced personal injury team at Nadrich & Cohen LLP is currently offering no-cost, no-obligation case evaluations to accident victims in all 50 states who may have been affected by a defective Toyota model.
Call our Injury Hotline today at 1-800-722-0765 to find out how we can help. We operate on a contingency basis, meaning there is never a fee unless we recover monetary damages on your behalf. Contact Nadrich & Cohen today to get the experienced legal representation you need and the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.