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Jury Rules Toyota Motor Co. was 60 Percent Responsible for Fatal Camry Crash

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Jury Rules Toyota was 60% Responsible for Fatal Crash

Jury Rules Toyota was 60% Responsible for Fatal Crash


A federal jury on Tuesday decided that Toyota Motor Co. was partly to blame for a 2006 car crash that killed three people and left two seriously injured, and resulted in a wrongful conviction.

The jury awarded the victims and their family members $11 million after concluding that Toyota was 60 percent to blame for the accident. The case revolved around Koua Fong Lee, who in 2006 was driving his 1996 Toyota Camry when it accelerated wildly into traffic and crashed into another vehicle, killing the driver of the other vehicle, Javis Trice-Adams Sr., and his 9-year-old son, Javis Adams Jr. His 6-year-old niece, Devyn Bolton, was paralyzed and died in October 2007. His daughter, Jasmine Adams, then 12, was seriously injured, as was his father, Quincy Ray Adams. Those two and Devyn Bolton’s mother, Bridgette Trice, were the other plaintiffs in the case, along with Lee and four of his family members who were in his car at the time of the crash, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Lee was charged and convicted of vehicular homicide and spent more than two years behind bars, all the while insisting that he had tried to stop the car before the crash. Lee won a retrial amid reports that there were problems with some Toyotas suddenly accelerating. Prosecutors declined to try Lee for a second time and he went free, the AP reported.

Lee and his family sued Toyota, as did those injured in the crash and relatives of those killed, in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. The lawsuit alleged the crash was caused by an acceleration defect in Lee’s Camry, which Toyota adamantly denied, according to the AP.

During the trial, Lee’s attorney told jurors that the car was defective in design and that the vehicle’s auto-drive could stick. When tapped or pushed when stuck, it could stick again at a higher speed. Lee’s attorney also alleged that Toyota never conducted reliability tests on nylon resin pulleys that could be damaged under heat and cause the throttle to stick, the AP reported.

Toyota denied the accusation, suggesting that Lee was an inexperienced driver who mistook the gas pedal for the brake, and that’s why the vehicle accelerated, according to the AP.

Ultimately, the jury decided that Toyta was 60 percent responsible for the crash. Under Minnesota law, Toyota must pay all damages minus 40 percent of the amount awarded to Lee, bringing Toyota’s total liability to $10.94 million. Lee will receive $750,000 of that amount, the AP reported.

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Jury Rules Toyota Motor Co. was 60 Percent Responsible for Fatal Camry Crash was posted on Thursday, February 5th, 2015 at 3:53 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Personal Injury Lawsuits, Product Liability Lawsuits.

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