The California Supreme Court recently released a decision in which it affirmed a jury verdict for the defendant in an injury lawsuit filed against an automobile manufacturer that did not include electronic traction control on its standard models. The plaintiff in the case of Kim v. Toyota Motors was involved in an accident that he argued would and should have been prevented by an electronic stability control system. The plaintiff argued that Toyota's failure to include the technology on the vehicle he was driving was a design defect, and he requested damages as a result.
The Plaintiff Was Involved in a Serious Accident
In April 2010, the plaintiff was driving a 2005 Toyota Tundra on a two-lane road when he was forced to drive into the gravel median in order to avoid a collision with an errant oncoming driver. After driving into the gravel, the plaintiff lost traction and oversteered the vehicle, losing control and eventually rolling the vehicle into an embankment. The plaintiff suffered a serious neck injury from the crash. During his presentation of the case, the plaintiff gave evidence that Toyota was able to include traction control on the vehicle involved, and that if there were traction control on his vehicle, he would have likely avoided the accident and the injuries that he suffered.
After a Trial, the Jury Finds for the Defense, but the Plaintiff Appeals
After a nine-day trial, the jury found that the defendant was not liable for the damages. The plaintiff appealed to the state supreme court, arguing that the trial judge's decision to allow the defendant to demonstrate to the jury that it was an automotive industry practice to not include the feature on lower-end vehicles was improper and irrelevant to the issue of whether the vehicle in question had a design defect. On appeal, the Supreme Court of California held that evidence of industry practice and custom may be relevant, and it is admissible if it is found so by the trial judge. Based on the ruling, the plaintiff will not be recovering any damages on the claim.
Have You Been Injured by a Dangerous Product?
If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an auto accident or by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. A skilled Illinois accident attorney can help you decide on a sensible course of action to pursue damages in your case. The experienced Chicago personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Cavanagh Law Group have resolved hundreds of cases and secured millions of dollars in damages for our clients to get their lives back on track after an accident. Cavanagh Law Group represents clients in most personal injury and wrongful death cases, including auto accidents and products liability cases.