April 1, 2011
It took a hot New York minute for Toyota to announce on its website that it had won a “key” unintended acceleration case. Today, a New York jury in the Eastern District of New York delivered a favorable verdict to Toyota in the case of Dr. Amir Sitafalwalla, who claimed an errant floor mat responsible for the crash of his 2005 Scion.
The jury found that the floor mat had nothing to do with the crash. The judge ruled the electronics evidence out of the trial. But we don’t think this ruling is “key” or “much-anticipated,” or “an early indicator of the strength of the legal theories behind current unintended acceleration claims.”
The verdict is an indicator that there was no proof offered by the plaintiffs, no relevant discovery from Toyota and a plaintiff’s expert without an automotive electronic design expertise.
Don’t over-think this one too much.