A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Toyota Motor Corp. and a Toyota dealership arising out of a December car crash. It was alleged in the Complaint that the death of Jeffery Levine was the result of a faulty accelerator and floor mat. The suit accuses the company of intentional misconduct and negligence in connection with the crash and resulting death that occurred on December 17, 2009.
Mr. Levine, who has two children, was coming home from work at 5:30 a.m. northbound on U.S. 95 when the gas pedal of his 2009 Toyota Tacoma, a company vehicle, became lodged beneath the truck’s floor mat. The vehicle then accelerated to speeds exceeding 90 mph, slammed into the back of a motor home and veered off the highway. Mr. Levine died at the scene. His body’s position suggested he was trying to dislodge the accelerator.
Mrs. Kim Levine, the widow, is seeking unspecified compensation for the emotional trauma experienced by her and the couple’s two sons, and the economic loss resulting from her husband’s death. The two boys, ages six and 13, are struggling to cope with the loss of their father. The strain on Mrs. Levine’s schedule as a single parent has affected her ability to work as a skin care specialist.
Toyota delayed extending a factory recall to the United States in 2009 – focused on gas pedals and floor mats – that already was taking place in Europe. Mrs. Levine said her husband had the truck serviced at Findlay Toyota about a month before his death. The lawsuit alleges the dealership was aware of the possible risk and the recall in Europe, and inspected the floor mat and gas pedal, but made no mention of the problem to Mr. Levine. The recall reached the U.S. about a month after this death and listed 2005-2010 Toyota Tacomas. Toyota President Akio Toyoda apologized to Congress in February for the defects, which have been tied to 38 lawsuits against the company.
Source: Las Vegas Sun
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