Baylor Law School Associate Professor Jill Wieber Lens is quoted in a recent Los Angeles Times story on Toyota settling a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.
In an Oklahoma courtroom last week, Toyota Motor Corp.'s lost its first sudden-acceleration case. According to the Los Angeles Times, Toyota "confirmed that it had reached a confidential settlement in the lawsuit, which involved the fatal 2007 crash of a Camry. The settlement came hours after a jury assessed $3 million in compensatory damages but before the panel could levy a punitive award."
The L.A. Times wondered if the jury decision in Oklahoma would "embolden attorneys nationwide who are looking to bring hundreds of similar cases."
Lens, a product liability expert, said it was likely that Toyota struck a settlement quickly in order to avoid further bad publicity and damage to its reputation.
"At some point," said Lens, "Toyota will want to evaluate whether a mass settlement is a better option than continuing to litigate the individual claims."