You may have heard about the sudden acceleration case of September, 2007 where a woman was killed and another one was injured due to the defective software of Toyota Camry. 75-year-old Jean Bookout was driving the vehicle, as a result of the crash, her passenger Barbara Schwarz was killed.
Jury of the case has now declared that defective software was to blame for the accident. The automaker will be paying $3 million $1,5 of which is to be paid to the injured woman and the rest to the heirs of the killed Barbara Schwarz.
The jury found that the automaker was liable for disregard. This means that except the compensatory damages the automaker might be obligated to pay punitive damages, as well. However, Toyota has settled an agreement with the plaintiffs and their attorneys to resolve the matter confidentially. This private settlement will help the automaker avoid paying a possibly huge amount of punitive damages to the plaintiffs.
Although Toyota is going to pay those $3 million to the plaintiffs, it does not agree with the verdict and they are satisfied that they have come to a consensus with their consumers concerning the private settlement.
Toyota has successfully resolved several other cases of sudden acceleration out of court. And this is the first time that the automaker had to face the problem in the courtroom. The automaker still faces different wrongful death and personal injury claims connected with the defect of sudden acceleration.
The plaintiffs still hope that the automaker will start a large recall of the defective vehicles and will replace the problematic car parts at no charge for the owners.