|[August 05, 2014]
Evidence Toyota Knew of Defective Break Override System Allowed in Florida Man's Catastrophic Vehicular Injury Trial
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. --(Business Wire)--
A Florida man who sustained catastrophic injuries that rendered him a
quadriplegic when his 2002 Toyota Camry unexpectedly went out of control
can present evidence in court that Toyota Motor Corporation and other
defendants knew that the break override and Electronic Throttle Control
System (ETCS) were defective, resulting in unintended accelerations that
have caused numerous deaths and injuries, a Florida Circuit Court ruled
"The Toyota defendants misleadingly promised safety and trust, while at
the same time purposely concealed evidence of electronic defects in its
vehicles from the American public, and hid its own knowledge of an
alarming number of incidents of unintended accelerations, deaths and
injuries," said Theodore J. Leopold, of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll
PLLC, who represents Bret Quinlan, in his products liability action
against Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Manufacturing Motor, Toyota
Motor North American, Inc., Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., and King
Automotive Management, LLC.
On July 17, 2011, Quinlan was driving the U.S.-manufactured Camry on
Florida State Road 551 when the vehicle suddenly went out of control and
ran into a building in Orlando, Fla. As a result, Quinlan suffered
permanent, catastrophic injuries, including spine and spinal cord damage
that resulted in his becoming quadriplegic.
Quinlan's original complaint, filed against the defendants in September
2012 in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, cited unintended acceleration
as a possible cause of the accident and also blamed defective spot
welding during the manufacturing and assembly process that resulted in a
failureof the floor pan structure. Due to Toyota's publicly denying
that its vehicles were susceptible to problems of unintended
acceleration, those allegations were dropped from an amended complaint.
However, in March 2014, Toyota entered into a deferred prosecution
agreement with the United States Department of Justice in which the
company admitted that it mislead consumers by concealing and making
deceptive statements about safety issues affecting its vehicles that
caused types of unintended acceleration. Toyota subsequently agreed to
pay a $1.2 billion financial penalty - to date the largest imposed on a
motor vehicle manufacturer. Also, recently many damaging Toyota
documents have come to light during the course of unintended
acceleration jury trials that have cast a dark shadow on Toyota's
actions in terms of what they knew, when they knew, and issues of ETCS
Additionally, after removing the unintended acceleration allegation from
his complaint, Quinlan received notice that the Camry was included in a
class action lawsuit against Toyota based on the ETCS defect. Further
discovery found Toyota had received more than 37,900 complaints
concerning the ETCS, which have been installed in Toyota-brand vehicles
sold in the United States since 1998.
In granting Quinlan's third amended complaint, the Circuit Court for the
15th Judicial Circuit, paved the way for evidence of
unintended acceleration as a cause of Quinlan's devastating accident to
be brought to trial before a jury. A trial date has not yet been set.
Quinlan is seeking compensatory damages resulting from the accident and
will shortly be moving for punitive damages from all of the Toyota
In addition to Leopold, who has been litigating product liability cases
nationwide for more than 20 years, Quinlan is represented by Leslie M.
Kroeger and Adam J. Langino, both of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.
For more information about the case, Brent Quinlin v. Toyota Motor
Corporation et al., or to view a copy of the amended complaint,
Founded in 1969, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a national leader
in plaintiff class action lawsuits and litigation. As one of the premier
firms in the country handling major complex cases, including product
liability actions, Cohen Milstein, with 80 attorneys, has offices in
Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Palm Beach
Gardens, Fla. For more information, visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com
or call (202) 408-4600.
Editor's Note: Copy of Amended Complaint Available
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