Toyota Settles First of Many Wrongful Death Suits

Toyota said that the company has settled the first lawsuit out of hundreds of wrongful death cases involving unintended acceleration.

The agreement was reached in a case filed by the family of Charlene Jones Lloyd and Paul Van Alfen. The two were killed when the Toyota Camry they were driving ran into a wall in 2010.

The Van Alfen lawsuit was supposed to be the first to go to trial and provide information to help resolve the hundreds of remaining cases. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Toyota said that it may choose to settle certain cases and take others to trial to “defend our product.” The company said it sympathized with anyone involved in an accident in a Toyota vehicle, but that its system for electronically controlling the throttle had been evaluated by independent investigators and found to be safe.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Toyota has settled another case, filed by a retired police officer in Los Angeles under the California “lemon law.”

Last month, Toyota reached an agreement to settle hundreds of lawsuits with claims of economic losses, for more than $1 billion. Those lawsuits came about after Toyota recalled millions of vehicles.

Toyota previously settled a wrongful death case for $10 million before the consolidation of the current lawsuits took place. In that case, an officer with the California Highway Patrol and three family members lost their lives after their Lexus, a Toyota product, accelerated to 120 mph in suburban San Diego, striking a vehicle, rolling several times and catching fire. It was determined during an investigation that the accelerator was trapped by a floor mat of the incorrect size.

Bob Briskman is a car accident lawyer and Chicago auto accident attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

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