$11 Million Jury Verdict In Auto Defect Case.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident? Or perhaps another accident caused by the negligence of another? If so, the Law Offices of Gilbert R. Hoy, Jr. and Affiliates is here to help. With the experience, skill and dedication of our attorney professionals, a call to our expert law office is the first step towards ensuring you get the money compensation you deserve. Please call today, 24/7, for your free and confidential consultation at 617-787-3700 or by email at [email protected].

Car accidents can occur in the blink of an eye and from any number of causes. Often, tailgating, driver distraction or road rage play a role in motor vehicle accidents. We hope that when these accidents occur, our vehicles will keep us as safe as possible. Sadly, defects in motor vehicles are another leading cause of accidents. This is why regular inspection and continued upkeep for our vehicles is necessary for safety on the roadways. When accidents caused from manufacturing defects happen, the justice system holds the manufacturer liable, under the theory that the large manufacturing company knew or should have known of the risk of harm and taken reasonable steps to prevent it.

A federal jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota recently recognized this theory of liability. Koua Fong Lee was driving a 1996 Toyota Camry back in 2006 when his vehicle slammed into another vehicle at a high speed. Lee told police that he attempted to brake, but the car could not be slowed. The accident killed 33-year-old Javis Trice Adams and his 10-year-old son Javis Adams Jr.  Adams’s 6-year-old niece was paralyzed from the neck down, and died months after the accident.

After the accident, Lee was arrested and convicted of vehicular homicide. Still, he persisted in his defense that the brakes in his Toyota Camry had failed him. Eventually, reports surfaced about sudden acceleration problems in some Toyotas. This report raised enough questions about Lee’s defense to permit the case to be reopened. Rather than retry the case, prosecutors dropped the case. Still, this was only after Lee had served two and one-half years of his prison sentence.

Lee, along with other families impacted by the 2006 crash, sued Toyota under a theory of product defect. Although Toyota maintained that Lee was solely to blame for the tragic crash, the jury thought otherwise. The jury awarded Lee and the other families impacted by the crash $11.44 million in damages. The jury found Lee was 40% to blame, but that ultimately, Toyota was the key party at fault. Toyota has hinted at a possible appeal.

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