Florida and New York car owners accusing Toyota of driving down the value of its vehicles by not disclosing or fixing defects related to unintended acceleration, has had the majority of their claims dismissed.
This is a sharp contrast to the decision made in the state of California by U.S. District Judge James Selna, that states California plaintiffs could sue over economic loss even if they did not experience unintended acceleration from their vehicles. At the time, Selna also ruled that other states would not be able to use California law to pursue their claims – which is evident now.
New Yorkers and Floridians are unable to sue if the owners never experienced an event of unintended acceleration or doesn’t have a measurable loss when trying to sell or trade in their vehicles. The ruling is expected to affect “most economic loss claims” in New York and Florida according to Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia.
The fight isn’t exactly over however, as Steve Berman, a lead lawyer for plaintiffs claiming economic loss, plans plans to appela the decision in Florida and New York. “Given the thousands of crashes, hundreds of deaths, Toyota’s inability to fix the cars, we don’t believe courts in New York or Florida would agree,” he said.
Trials will still be ongoing for those plaintiffs in other states or alleging personal injuries or deaths related to unintended acceleration episodes. Three trials are set in 2013 in Selna’s court who is also overseeing most federal unintended acceleration claims.
[Source: Automotive News]