Toyota will begin its first trial related to its sudden-acceleration issues in February 2013, says a U.S. District judge. The first of the lawsuits will happen in federal court, and will pertain to a 2010 crash that killed two people in a 2008 Camry. The families of the victims are suing Toyota, alleging that a defect in the Camry allowed it to speed up even when the driver slammed on the brakes. Toyota should have included a brake override system, says the family’s lawyers.
Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, California is overseeing most of these federal lawsuits, and believes that the wrongful death case will test evidence and liability theories for other similar cases. In legal parlance, this is known as a bellwether case.