Toyota settles first wrongful death suit amid hundreds of sudden acceleration claims
The Toyota Motor Corp. logo is seen on a tire wheel of an Avensis sedan at Toyota's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 2, 2011. (AP / Shizuo Kambayashi)
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:55PM EST
LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Motor Corp. says it has settled what was to be the first of hundreds of wrongful death lawsuits involving problems of sudden, unintended acceleration by its vehicles.
A Toyota spokeswoman said Thursday that the company reached the agreement in the case brought by the family of Paul Van Alfen and Charlene Jones Lloyd. They were killed when their Toyota Camry slammed into a wall in Utah in 2010. The spokeswoman would not disclose the financial terms.
Last month, Toyota agreed to a settlement worth more than $1 billion to resolve hundreds of lawsuits claiming economic losses suffered by Toyota owners, but hundreds more lawsuits over wrongful death remained.
The Van Alfen case was to be the first of those tried, and to serve as a bellwether for the rest.