California News

Jan 18, 2013 5:46 AM by Associated Press

Toyota settles bellwether wrongful death lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Toyota Motor Corp. says it has settled what was to be the first of hundreds of lawsuits claiming that deaths and injuries were caused by problems of sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

A Toyota spokeswoman said Thursday that the company reached the agreement in the wrongful death case brought by the family of Paul Van Alfen and Charlene Jones Lloyd. They were killed when their Toyota Camry slammed into a wall in Utah in 2010.

The spokeswoman would not disclose the financial terms.

Last month, Toyota agreed to a settlement worth more than $1 billion to resolve hundreds of lawsuits claiming economic losses suffered by Toyota owners, but hundreds more lawsuits over deaths and injuries remained.

The Van Alfen case was to be the first of those tried, and to serve as a bellwether for the rest.

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