Trial Attorney, Tony Piccuta, Files Auto Defect Product Liability Lawsuit Against Toyota
Last week, lead trial counsel from Scottsdale Injury Lawyers, Tony Piccuta, filed a new lawsuit in state court. The lawsuit involves a rear-end car accident at a high rate of speed. The car accident left the client with a debilitating brain injury. The lawsuit named the makers of both cars involved in the accident as defendants in the lawsuit. One of those auto makers included Toyota Motor Corporation (who makes Lexus).
The Injuries Caused by the Car Accident
In March 2017, the client was on his way home from work and on the freeway. He was driving his 2004 Lexus ES 330. Traffic stopped on the freeway in front of him and the client brought his vehicle to a stop. However, the car immediately behind him, a late model SUV, did not stop and rear ended his Lexus at a high rate of speed. No skid marks were noted in the police report. It is believed that the driver of the SUV failed to apply his brakes at all. As a result, the impact was likely at over 60 miles per hour.
Both cars were severely damaged. The pictures showing the damage to the vehicles speak for themselves. Miraculously, the driver of the SUV was not severely injured and walked away from the crash virtually unscathed. The client was not nearly as lucky. He was catastrophically injured. He lost consciousness inside his vehicle and emergency responders had to remove him. He was then rushed to a trauma center and immediately put on critical care.
At the hospital, the client was diagnosed with several serious injuries. The injuries included: a traumatic brain injury resulting in loss of function on the left side of his body and resulting mental impairment; fractured ribs; a collapsed lung; focal dissection of left renal artery with significant infraction; and a bilateral hemispheric ischemic stroke secondary to bilateral carotid artery dissection. The client required critical care for weeks and remained in the hospital for more than one month. The client was discharged once his condition stabilized to the point where he could go home. However, he left the hospital with serious cognitive impairment as a result of the car accident.
The client is no longer able to take care of himself. His wife was forced to resign from her job as a quality control technician at a manufacturing plant. She now cares for the client twenty-four hours a day. The client is no longer able to perform typical activities of daily living. He can no longer drive, cook, clean or shop for himself. He also cannot enjoy any recreational activities and hobbies as he did before the collision. The car accident destroyed his life.
The Auto Defect Claims Alleged in the Product Liability Case
The claims that were advanced in the auto product liability lawsuit allege that both Toyota had defects in the vehicles that caused the client’s injuries. With respect to the SUV, the model vehicle had forward braking crash avoidance as a safety feature. However, this technology did not prevent the SUV from smashing into the back of the Lexus and causing the client substantial injuries. As a result, the forward braking crash avoidance technology was either not properly designed or properly implemented when the vehicle was made. As a result, it was a defective product and the SUV manufacturer is responsible because it put the defective vehicle on the road. If the safety feature had worked as intended and marketed, it would have stopped or slowed the SUV. The accident would have never happened or the force from the impact would have been reduced and the client would not have been severely injured.
The claims against Toyota (makers of Lexus) allege that the driver seat of the client’s vehicle failed and collapsed backward. The failure of the seatback resulted in inadequate support for the client and caused the severe injuries he suffered. Had the seatback not failed, the client would not have sustained the trauma to his head and body that he did. The failure of the seatback resulted in catastrophic injuries because it deprived the client of the benefits of stopping his backward momentum in the rear-end collision.
Several lawsuits have been filed regarding the failure of Toyota’s seatbacks. The lawsuit filed on behalf of the client alleges that Toyota knew that its seatbacks were defective when they put them in the vehicles and had the potential to fail in a high-impact car crash, like the one the client was involved in. Even with this knowledge, Toyota continued to keep the design of its seatbacks and kept making cars with the defective seatbacks. This includes the client’s Lexus.
The auto defect lawsuit set forth several claims against both auto makers. Those claims include: defects for design, defects in manufacturing and negligence. The lawsuit seeks to recover compensation for the client based upon his damages. His damages include medical expenses (both past and future), lost earnings (both past and future), the costs of future care, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. If a jury does determine that the vehicles were defective and that the defects caused the injuries sustained, the amount awarded could be substantial. Due to the severity of the injuries, a significant recovery is justified. This amount could help provide for the client’s future care needs and assist him with all the future challenges he will experience over the rest of his life.
Loss of Consortium Claim Under Arizona Law
A loss of consortium claim was also filed on behalf of the client’s wife. A loss of consortium claim allows a spouse to recover for the benefits he or she lost as the result of an injury to a marital partner. The role of the client’s wife has transformed from partner and spouse to that of a caretaker. The wife is now experiencing substantial hardships and unimaginable challenges all which resulted from the client’s injuries.
Under Arizona law, one can be compensated for his or her losses due to harm to a marital relationship caused by a significant injury. This includes the loss of love, affection, care, comfort, companionship and society as normally enjoyed before the spouse was injured. If the wrongful conduct or negligence of another causes you harm and deprives you the enjoyment of your marital relationship—you are entitled to recover and hold that person or party responsible.
Often times, the uninjured husband or wife may suffer just as much as the injured spouse. The healthy spouse is thrust into the role of a caretaker and assistant. The healthy spouse is now solely responsible for providing for the family economically. The healthy spouse is left with all child-raising duties. The healthy spouse must now take care of all the shopping, driving, cleaning and other daily household responsibilities by his or herself and without meaningful help from his or her lifelong companion.
Our personal injury attorneys believe that no amount is sufficient to compensate a spouse for the losses he or she sustains when his or her loved one suffers a serious and debilitating injury. All the clients we have brought a loss of consortium claim for, would trade any amount they received to have their spouses returned to full health. Sadly, no amount of money can fix what is broken when there exists no cure for the injuries. However, financial compensation can help everyone involved conquer the challenges ahead and provide the best possible care available.
If you or a loved one has suffered a debilitating injury, contact Scottsdale Injury Lawyers today. A skilled personal injury attorney is available now to discuss your case at no charge. Our firm has experience advancing serious injury cases and can help you and your family when you need it the most. We are available now for a free consultation.
About the author: The content on this page was written by Scottsdale personal injury attorney and civil rights lawyer, Tony Piccuta. Piccuta graduated with honors from Indiana University-Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana (Ranked Top 35 US News & World Report 2018). Piccuta took and passed the State bars of Arizona, California, Illinois and Nevada (all on the first try). He actively practices throughout Arizona and California. He is a trial attorney that regularly handles serious personal injury cases and civil rights lawsuits. He has obtained six and seven figure verdicts in both state and federal court. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers for six years straight. He is a member of the Arizona Association of Justice, Maricopa County Bar Association, Scottsdale Bar Association, American Association for Justice, National Police Accountability Project and Consumer Attorneys of California, among other organizations.
Disclaimer: The information on this web site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Reading and relying upon the content on this page does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, you should contact our law firm for a free consultation and to discuss your specific case and issues.