Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Toyota settles 338 cases of sudden acceleration deaths and catastrophic injuries

Toyota MDL federal judge James V. Selna recognized as a "legend of the law"

Law360, New York (July 22, 2015) -- Attorneys on both sides of multidistrict litigation over deaths and injuries caused by alleged unintended acceleration in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles told a California federal judge [James V. Selna] on Tuesday that the settlement process continues to hum along, with deals reached in 338 cases, up from 289 in March.

I feel a slight question arise when I see lawyers honoring judges in this way, with law firms paying for it.  But I suppose it is standard practice for lawyers and judges to be friendly.

I only wish that the Hon. Mr. Selna would refrain from accepting confidential settlement terms when the product's safety is in dispute--at best. The public ought to be made aware that a product caused a death or injury when the case is settled, just as much as when the case is tried and the manufacturer lost, as in Bookout vs. Toyota. The intensive settlement process that has resulted in 338 secret settlements so far got its start when the Bookout jury found Toyota's software and engineering were dangerously defective and caused a death and severe injuries, and the company acted in "reckless disregard" for human safety. After that, Toyota could not afford the risk of any more trials.

Question: Wouldn't it have been better for Congress to pass tough auto safety legislation and for regulators to really enforce those laws, instead of all of these people being killed and injured in unsafe cars?
Question 2: Why aren't the people responsible for all of this death and injury--why are they not being prosecuted for murder?