Bisnar | Chase Auto Defect Lawyer Reacts to Toyota's Move to Settle Two High-Profile Sudden Acceleration Cases

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Toyota Motor Corporation quietly settled two major sudden acceleration lawsuits (Case numbers 2:2011cv08120 and 2:2012cv04054), a Jan. 16 Los Angeles Times article reports. Even after these and other settlements, the Japanese automaker still faces more than 300 lawsuits relating to its sudden acceleration issues, the article states.

Toyota Sudden Acceleration

Toyota Sudden Acceleration Settlements

These types of private settlements can help automakers keep potentially sensitive evidence out of courtroom – information that could help plaintiffs in other lawsuits.

Toyota Motor Corp. has settled two high-profile sudden acceleration lawsuits in recent weeks, a Jan. 16 article in the Los Angeles Times states. One of these lawsuits involved a lemon law claim case (Case number 2:2012cv04054), was filed by Michael Houlf in Los Angeles Superior Court, but was formally dismissed after a confidential settlement on Dec. 28, according to court documents.

The other case (Case number 2:2011cv08120) was filed in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana with trial to begin in February, court filing show. The Times article says this was one of the strongest sudden acceleration claims filed against Toyota involving a 2008 Camry that accelerated out of control and killed the driver, Paul Van Alfen and his passenger, and injured two others in the car.

During the trial preparation stage of this case, the court sanctioned Toyota for inspecting the Camry and its black box data recorder without the consent or the presence of the Van Alfen family raising suspicions regarding its conduct in the case, the Times reports. Even after these confidential settlements, Toyota faced 200 sudden acceleration lawsuits in federal court, 100 in California, 20 in Texas and other claims around the county, the article states. Both these settlements come in the wake of a $1.1-billion settlement in a class action lawsuit last month involving hundreds who contended that Toyota diminished the value of their vehicles by hiding the dangerous defects.

Paying off or settling with plaintiffs in such cases would help Toyota not only avoid a major loss in court, but steer clear of a public relations nightmare, said John Bisnar, founder of the Bisnar | Chase personal injury law firm. "Not only that, but these types of private settlements can help automakers keep potentially sensitive evidence out of courtroom – information that could help plaintiffs in other lawsuits. That's why it makes sense for automakers in these types of product liability cases to settle out of court."

Sudden acceleration accidents involving defective autos have claimed many lives and caused catastrophic injuries and fatalities, Bisnar said. "Any large corporation has formidable legal defense teams at its beck and call. These defense lawyers are paid a lot of money to protect the best interests of these companies. It is critical in auto product liability cases for plaintiffs to get someone on their side who will fight for their rights every step of the way."

About Bisnar | Chase

The California auto product liability attorneys of Bisnar | Chase represent victims of auto accidents, defective products, dangerous roadways, and many other personal injuries. The firm has been featured on a number of popular media outlets including Newsweek, Fox, NBC, and ABC and is known for its passionate pursuit of results for their clients.

For more information, please call 800-561-4887 or visit for a free consultation.

Photo Source:Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

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GiGi Konwin
Bisnar Chase
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