• Court Rejects Toyota's Motion to Dismiss Injury and Death Lawsuits
  • December 17, 2010
  • Law Firm: Lieff Cabraser Heimann Bernstein LLP - San Francisco Office
  • On December 9, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna of the Central District of California ruled that the lawsuits against Toyota claiming personal injuries or deaths due to sudden acceleration may proceed.

    The Court rejected Toyota’s argument that plaintiffs did not identify the specific cause of why its vehicles are unexpectedly accelerating. The Court held:

    Toyota demands a level of specificity that is not required at the pleadings stage.  The defect is identified: Plaintiffs’ cars suddenly and unexpectedly accelerate and do not stop upon proper application of the brake pedal.  Causes of the defect are identified: an inadequate fault detection system and electronic failures.  An alternative design (that allegedly would have prevented the defect from injuring Plaintiffs) is identified: a brake override system. These allegations do more than merely recite the elements required for design defect claims under California law, and plausibly give rise to an entitlement relief.