Toyota riding momentum in wild acceleration cases

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Reuters Reuters
SummarySpecifies that Toyota still faces hundreds of lawsuits between state and federal courts

to prove a glitch was the cause, Berman said, jurors may reasonably have doubts.

But a lawyer whose case will go before a federal jury in early November discounted the broader impact of Thursday's verdict.

Because the Uno case involved acceleration after an initial accident, ''that gave the jury a way out and allowed them to simply assign all the liability to the first collision,'' attorney Todd A. Walburg said. He is bringing a claim that a Camry in Georgia accelerated uncontrollably due to defective electronics before crashing into a school.

Walburg said he believes his case is a winner, but his legal team faces several challenges. One is that all 12 jurors must agree Toyota was liable; another, he said, is that the carmaker picked the case as a ''bellwether'' federal trial.

''Theoretically, it should be Toyota's strongest case,'' Walburg said. ''If we're able to win this case, Toyota will have a lot of thinking to do.''

The Los Angeles verdict added to Toyota's legal victories: In 2011, a federal jury in New York found that the company wasn't responsible for a 2005 crash.

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