Verdict in favor of Toyota
Jurors deliberated for about five days before reaching their decision and concluding that the vehicle's design did not contribute to the death of 66-year-old Noriko Uno, who was killed in August 2009 when she was struck by another motorist, sending her vehicle into a telephone pole and tree.
The outcome of the so-called "bellwether" case Thursday could influence whether Toyota should be held responsible for sudden unintended acceleration as part of a larger group of lawsuits filed in state courts. Another case began in Oklahoma this week and there are more than 80 similar lawsuits filed in state courts.
Uno's family was seeking $20 million in damages, claiming that the crash could have been avoided if Toyota had installed a brake override system. The jury found the motorist, now 90, who ran a stop sign and hit Uno should pay the family $10 million, plaintiffs' attorney Garo Mardirossian said.
The company recalled millions of vehicles worldwide after drivers reported some Toyota vehicles were surging unexpectedly. It already has agreed to pay $1 billion in lawsuits filed in federal courts.