Toyota settles bellwether wrongful death lawsuit

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm •  Published: January 17, 2013
Advertisement
;

The Van Alfen case was to be the first of those tried, and to serve as a bellwether for the rest. It had been set to go to trial in February.

In 2010, Toyota settled a previous wrongful death lawsuit for $10 million before the current cases were consolidated in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana.

In the earlier case, a California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members were killed in suburban San Diego in 2009 after their car, a Toyota-built Lexus, reached speeds of more than 120 mph, hit an SUV, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and burst into flames.

Investigators determined that a wrong-size floor mat trapped the accelerator and caused the crash.

That discovery spurred a series of recalls involving more than 14 million vehicles and a flood of lawsuits soon followed, with numerous complaints of accelerations in several models, and brake defects with the Prius hybrid.

Toyota has blamed driver error, faulty floor mats and stuck accelerator pedals for the problems.

In the accident that spawned the newly settled case, Van Alfen was driving the Camry on Interstate 80 near Wendover, Utah, on Nov. 5, 2010, when it suddenly accelerated, investigators said. Skid marks showed that Van Alfen tried to stop the vehicle as it exited Interstate 80, police said. The car went through a stop sign at the bottom of the ramp and through an intersection before hitting the wall.

Van Alfen and Lloyd, his son's fiancee, were killed. Van Alfen's wife and son were injured.

The Utah Highway Patrol concluded based on statements from witnesses and the crash survivors that the gas pedal was stuck.

| |

Advertisement


Trending Now



AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Hundreds of earthquakes strike central Idaho, rattling nerves
  2. 2
    VIDEO: 3-year-old gets stuck inside claw crane vending machine
  3. 3
    KOCO: Neighbors post 'no hooking zone' sign near 40th and S Robinson
  4. 4
    Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City concert
  5. 5
    Barresi opposes bill to cut state testing in social studies
+ show more