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Toyota settles wrongful death lawsuit with family

Californians may be interested to learn that the car company Toyota recently settled a lawsuit filed by the family of a couple killed in a 2010 car accident following a sudden, unintended acceleration. The wrongful death lawsuit, which was only one of many filed against Toyota since the much-publicized sudden acceleration problem in some of Toyota's vehicles, alleged that deaths and injuries were caused by sudden and unexpected acceleration in the vehicles due to a mechanical defect in Toyota vehicles.

The company did not disclose the settlement terms in this particular case, but has paid $1 billion in settlements to resolve hundreds of lawsuits alleging economic harm to Toyota drivers.

Wrongful death cases, such as the one in this case, can be caused by the negligence of a manufacturer. Courts will typically hold a manufacturer liable for certain defects such as the one allegedly in Toyota vehicles. The key is whether the defect was in manufacturer's control to correct.

Negligence is defined as the breach of a duty of care by one party towards another party. Whether the negligence occurs in Utah, California, or elsewhere, the breach of a duty of care by a person, company or institution harms those that the party was bound to protect. This includes keeping products such as automobiles reasonable safe, the duty that the lawsuits alleged Toyota violated.

Anyone who has suffered the death or injury of a family member or loved one due to another's negligence is entitled to monetary compensation in the form of damages awarded by the court. They may also seek a personal injury judgment against the defendant for negligence, products liability or other torts. The family of a wrongful death victim is entitled to avenge their loss in the court of law.

Source: KOKH Fox 25, "Toyota settles bellwether wrongful death suit," Jan. 19, 2013

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Toyota settles wrongful death lawsuit with family | Rose, Klein & Marias, LLP