The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (MDL) has selected the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to hear the litigation arising out of the Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) problems. All lawsuits, including both individual personal injury claims and consumer class actions filed on behalf of Toyota owners who contend the value of their vehicles has been negatively affected by Toyota’s SUA problems, will be moved to the MDL court. Cases that are filed in state courts and remain in state courts won’t be affected by the April 9th order.
Thus far our firm has filed a total of five consumer class actions in federal court in four states – Alabama, California, Florida and Georgia. We also have filed two wrongful death cases involving Toyota SUA in state courts in Alabama and Oklahoma. We will be filing several more suits of this nature in the near future. The MDL Panel’s decision to send the cases to Judge James V. Selna in California makes sense, and both the location and the judge appear to be good choices. At present that federal court has the most advanced set of Toyota cases in the country. Lawyers who have handled cases before Judge Selna consider him to be the perfect judge for this litigation.
Nearly 200 lawsuits related to the sudden unintended acceleration issues at Toyota have been filed in federal and state courts throughout the country. This decision will consolidate federal court consumer and personal injury suits in one jurisdiction. After discovery is completed, the personal injury and death cases will be returned to the federal courts for trial. Toyota’s U.S. Headquarters is located in Torrance, California. As reported, more than 8 million Toyota vehicles have been recalled worldwide for sudden unintended acceleration problems. Toyota has blamed the problems on defective or improperly installed floor mats, and sticky accelerator pedals, but has ignored the electronics that will eventually have to be faced. Dee Miles, who heads up our firm’s Consumer Fraud Section, is leading our effort in the MDL. If you need additional information on this subject, contact Dee at 800-898-2034 or by email at Dee.Miles@beasleyallen.com.
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