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Toyota update: acceleration cases will be tried in 2013

In past blog posts, we've discussed the serious legal charges facing Japanese car company Toyota Motor Corp. Many of you may recall this post, covering the story of a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the auto industry giant. At the trial's end, the plaintiffs received a $10 million dollar settlement as compensation for the deaths of four victims killed when a Toyota floor mat trapped the car's accelerator to the floor and caused a tragic crash.

Toyota is now facing a new group of wrongful death and injury compensation lawsuits over sudden acceleration problems. Complaints of unintended acceleration caused Toyota to recall 8 million vehicles, and now owners of hundreds of allegedly faulty Toyotas have filed legal action.

The drivers who have been injured while driving a Toyota brand car and the families of deceased victims are anxious for their cases to be heard in court.

In a new development, the federal judge managing the Toyota sudden acceleration lawsuits has set a tentative date for the first trial. According to the judge, the first of these cases should reach the courtroom during the first three months of 2013.

Currently, hundreds of plaintiffs and their lawyers are busy gathering evidence to strengthen their cases against the car manufacturer. However, the federal judge declared that all evidence should be gathered by the end of 2012, so that he can prepare for the first trial.

All parties involved in lawsuits will be attentively watching and analyzing the judgments garnered from these first trials, as they will likely set a precedent for the cases which follow. We will continue to follow this story as future updates develop.

Source: Bloomberg. "Toyota May Face First Federal Speed-Up Trial in 2013." Bill Callahan and Margaret Cronin Fisk, 14 January 2011.

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