In the latest development stretching over several years and involving the largest recall in the company’s history, Toyota did get some welcome news from a ruling from a U.S. District Court in California. Judge James Selna’s ruling Friday effectively bars plaintiffs in Florida and New York state from suing Toyota for economic loss unless they experienced an actual unintended acceleration event. According to legal analysts, this may make a class-action suit from the plaintiffs more difficult, says a report from Bloomberg.
This is a seeming reversal from Selna’s earlier ruling that California plaintiffs could sue Toyota even if they did not experience the unintended acceleration events. The ruling in both cases reflected the different states’ respective consumer protection laws.
But this is not the end of the road for cases related to Toyota’s unintended acceleration cases and the massive recall related to it. A case is set to go to trial in Utah in February 2013 for the crash that took the lives of two people in 2010.
Selna’s most recent ruling seems to put the odds in Toyota’s favor, as California, New York and Florida are considered to have more favorable consumer protection laws. Toyota is also looking to include cases from Georgia, Illinois and Ohio, states with less-favorable consumer protection laws. The majority of states require a “manifestation of defects” be claimed in economic loss lawsuits.