The Sudden Unintended Acceleration Toyota Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) continues to press forward. We are currently in the heat of discovery battles over documents, source codes, electronic data, other similar incidents (OSIs), witnesses and experts. The selection of “Bellwether” cases for trial, as well as determining which federal court cases will be tried, are all taking a great deal of time and manpower.
In addition, the court is wrestling with many complex class action issues such as choice-of-law issues, consolidated class complaints, class certification, subclasses and other issues associated with complex litigation. However, we are fortunate to have extremely talented lawyers from all over the country, and from both sides of the aisle. We also have a seasoned judge who has demonstrated unparalleled leadership on these very complicated legal issues. He is keeping things on track and making sure lawyers on each side are moving toward a conclusion of the MDL. The court and the parties are dealing with issues that affect millions of consumers.
We previously reported that the MDL lawyers are currently in Phase II discovery and are in the process of developing a plan for Phase III discovery. Hopefully, that will be the final phase of discovery. “Bellwether” trials have been set for 2013 and the MDL lawyers are currently on track to complete all discovery so that all of us can be prepared to try the first case in January 2013.
The economic loss class action case received a ruling from Judge Selna on June 8, 2011, that will force the class action portion of the case to function following the laws of each of the states where the individual class cases were filed as opposed to consolidating all of the legal issues solely under California law. This “choice-of-law” ruling by Judge Selna should have little effect on the class case itself. If the discovery proves that there is in fact a defect in the automobiles identified by the class complaints, that proof will be adequate in all states class actions.
Many of the Personal Injury/Products Liability state cases are proceeding on a more rapid track, but it remains to be seen if any of these cases will be tried before any of the MDL “Bellwether” cases are tried in January 2013. The States of California, Texas and New York have their own State Toyota MDLs concerning the sudden unintended acceleration issue, but all of these State MDLs are cooperating with the Toyota Federal MDL before Judge Selna.
We will continue to update you as the case progresses. If you need more information in the interim, contact Dee Miles or Graham Esdale at 800-898-2034 or by email at Dee.Miles@beasleyallen.com or Graham.Esdale@beasleyallen.com. Dee, who is on the PSC, is dealing with MDL issues, while Graham is working exclusively on state cases.
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