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Toyota Agrees to Pay $10 Million Settlement

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On: Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 1:59PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Agrees to Pay $10 Million Settlement

Toyota Motor Corporation settled another lawsuit last week. The Japanese automaker resolved a suit brought by a family of four who were involved in a fatal accident that preceded the largest recall in U.S. automotive history—Toyota's unintended acceleration recall.

The lawsuit was settled in September, but both parties had agreed that the amount of the settlement agreement would not be released to the public at the time. The plaintiffs and Toyota both agreed to keep the deal confidential.

An attorney for a defendant in the case recently disclosed details to the Los AngelesTimes.

The case involved a Lexus ES that was lent to a highway patrol officer in California, Mark Saylor. Saylor’s family filed the suit against Toyota, alleging that the Lexus had defects that caused the vehicle to speed out of control and subsequently cause the fatal accident that Killed Saylor, his wife, brother-in-law, and daughter. Last week the the Saylor family dropped the suit against Toyota in exchange for the settlement.

During the settlement, there was no admission of liability by either side, simply an agreement that $10 million would be paid by the company to the family.

Toyota did release a statement to the press saying the company was: “disappointed that the sum of the settlement was made public, as the families and Toyota had reached a private, amicable settlement through mutual respect and cooperation without the involvement of the courts.”

“Unfortunately, Bob Baker Lexus, along with the Orange County District Attorney and several news organizations, fought to make the amount of the settlement public, and the court agreed to do so,” Toyota said in its statement.

“Indeed, Bob Baker Lexus already knew the terms of the settlement. However, Mr. Baker now wants the amount publicized in an apparent effort to shift the focus away from his dealership as he continues to litigate this case with the families.”

Toyota also pointed out that the police report about the accident stated the primary cause of the accident was due an “incompatible” floor mat that was “installed incorrectly” in the Lexus; the car that was loaned to Saylor by the dealership.

“Our deepest sympathies remain with the friends and family of Mark, Cleofe, and Mahala Saylor, and Cleofe’s brother Chris Lastrella,” Toyota said in the statement. “However, as in the past, Toyota will continue to defend itself vigorously against the misleading allegations made by Bob Baker Lexus against Toyota. Toyota is not, however, in a position to address the additional negligence claims the families have against Bob Baker Lexus that are independent of Toyota.”

According to the Times report, there is still a negligence suit that is pending against Toyota, so the saga continues. Stay tuned to the Auto Shopper for more details.


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