A Minnesota federal court jury issued an $11 million verdict against Toyota Motor Corp. resulting from a lawsuit filed on behalf of passengers injured or killed in a 2006 car wreck in the same State that found a defect in the vehicle partly to blame for the crash.
The defendant, Toyota Motor Corp. argued against a Camry accelerator defect as causing the accident, but the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and held Toyota 60 percent liable according to the Reuters report.
According to the court documents, the driver Koua Fong Lee, said the Camry inexplicably began to accelerate as he approached an intersection resulting in the auto accident.
The jury verdict vindicates Mr. Lee who served three years in prison for vehicular homicide resulting from the crash when other reported incidents of unintended acceleration began to surface.
Mr. Lee was released from prison following the reports after a successful motion to set aside his conviction was won by his attorney Robert Hilliard.
The Feb. 3rd verdict from the jury found Mr. Lee 40 percent responsible for the accident, following a four day deliberation.
The Columbus dispatch has reported the 1996 Toyota Camry was not among the Toyota recall of over 10 million vehicles between 2009 and 2010.
Lee’s attorney Robert C. Hilliard of Hilliard Munoz Gonzalez LLP slammed Toyota with the following statement after the verdict was announced:
“Shame on Toyota for wrongly attempting to once again lay the guilt of this accident on Koua. The lives lost and the horrible consequences of that tragic day in 2006 are a direct result of this dangerous and defective 1996 Toyota Camry, and not Koua Fong Lee.”Attorney Bob Hilliard
According to the AP release, Attorney Bob Hilliard closing argument included, “This is what makes the car go. This is what turns it into a torpedo, a missile, a deadly weapon.”
The AP report adds, the tragic incident included the death of the driver of the other vehicle, Javis Trice-Adams Sr., and his 9-year-old son, Javis Adams Jr., whil his 6-year-old niece, Devyn Bolton, was paralyzed and died October 2007 following the incident.