Federal judge sets date for Toyota litigation hearing

[JURIST] US District Judge James Selna on Thursday ordered [text, PDF] a May 13 pre-trial conference for the consolidated litigation against Toyota Motor Corporation [corporate website, JURIST news archive] surrounding the company's auto safety failures. The court found that, "[b]ecause this docket involves both personal injury actions and actions for economic loss, the Court believes a somewhat unique structure is required." Toyota will defend itself in US District Court for the Central District of California [official website] against [Reuters report] nearly 100 consumer fraud class action and personal injury claims. In addition to civil suits, Toyota faces a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] probe [ABC report] into investor disclosures, as well as a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors surrounding "sudden acceleration" in Toyota cars.

Last week, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) [official website] consolidated [JURIST report] more than 150 pending lawsuits against Toyota, transferring them to the district court. Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) [official website] announced that it will seek a record civil penalty [JURIST report] of $16.375 million against Toyota for a four-month delay in notifying the agency about a problem with "sticky" gas pedals in various car models. In March, the California Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) [official website] filed a consumer protection suit [JURIST report] against Toyota, alleging that the company knowingly sold vehicles with acceleration defects. Toyota has been under federal scrutiny [NHTSA materials] since December and has recalled approximately eight million cars.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.