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Toyota settles first of hundreds of wrongful death suits

Cases center on sudden acceleration of many Toyota vehicles

Although they don’t have their loved ones back, the families of Paul Van Alfen and Charlene Jones Lloyd are at least getting some closure. Late last week, they reached a settlement with Toyota over the wrongful deaths of Van Alfen and Lloyd, who were killed when their Toyota Camry suddenly and unintentionally accelerated and slammed into a wall in 2010. Set to go to trial next month, this is the first suit of its kind to settle.

Toyota is still facing hundreds of wrongful death and injury suits over the unintended acceleration problem, which has plagued the company since 2009 and involves some Toyota and Lexus vehicles built between 2007 and 2010. The company said that while there may be other settlements to come, in some cases, there are opportunities for Toyota to defend its product.

"We sympathize with anyone in an accident involving one of our vehicles," Toyota said in a statement, "however we continue to stand fully behind the safety and integrity of Toyota's Electronic Throttle Control System, which multiple independent evaluations have confirmed as safe."

Toyota has blamed drivers, oversized floor mats and stuck accelerators for many of these accidents. The company has not released the terms of this settlement.

Late last year, Toyota agreed to a $1 billion-plus settlement to bring to an end hundreds of suits claiming economic losses Toyota owners incurred as a result the acceleration problem and recalls.

Read more InsideCounsel stories about Toyota’s ongoing litigation:

Toyota sudden acceleration settlement wins preliminary approval

Toyota Troubles

Toyota settles suit with shareholders

First Toyota sudden acceleration case dismissed

California law won’t help some Toyota owners sue the company

Toyota slapped with maximum fine



Cathleen Flahardy

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