In his opening statement, Atty. Garo Mardirossian claimed that Toyota was responsible for the death of Noriko Uno because the giant automaker failed to install an override safety system in the 2006 Toyota Camry model that she was driving, reports said.
Uno was killed in a car accident way back in 2009 in Upland, east of Los Angeles, California. Mardirossian further contented that when another driver passed through a stop sign and broadsided Uno’s car at slow speed, Mardirossian said the Camry spun around and accelerated. Initially, Uno was able to control the car and even managed to avoid other drivers including a woman with six children on board. Unfortunately, she was unable to prevent the car from hitting a tree and a light pole, killing her.
The plaintiff is seeking for a staggering $20 million in damages.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued by Toyota at the courtroom, it was affirmed that its vehicles has a state-of-the-art braking system and has earned top safety and quality recognitions. It also contradicted Mardirossian’s claim that an override system could have prevented the crash.
Toyota’s lawyer, Atty. Vincent Galvin affirmed that the accident was not caused by any problem within the vehicle but was a result of driver error. Also, Galvin contested that Uno has existing health problems, such as diabetes and hypersensitivity, that may have affected her judgment after she was hit by another driver at an intersection before the fatal accident.
Moreover, Galvin claimed that Uno never hit the brake, but when asked if she tried to use the hand break, he failed to answer the question.
Meanwhile, in a photo presented by Mardirossian, it was revealed that the hand break was in the “on” position at the time of the accident.
According to news, the trial is expected to last for a couple of months.
It can be remembered that Toyota previously recalled millions of vehicles worldwide for the same issue. Based in drivers’ reports, the vehicles were accelerating unexpectedly. In fact, the automaker has already paid a total of approximately $1 billion in other lawsuits in the past few years.