Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2010/05/27 15:48
A 10-page order signed on Wednesday by Los Angeles County Superior Judge Carl West also recommends that the state-based litigation, consisting of consumer-fraud class actions and personal injury claims, be assigned to a single judge in neighboring Orange County.
The order lists 40 separate cases filed so far in California courts against the Japanese automaker seeking damages for sudden, unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles, said Aldwin Lim, a court clerk.
A final decision on assigning the cases rests with the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, Ronald George, and he is expected to render his decision in two to three weeks.
Complaints of runaway vehicles and other safety issues have led to the recall of more than 8.5 million Toyota vehicles worldwide, most for repairs of ill-fitting floor mats and sticking gas pedals the automaker blames for surging engines.
At a hearing before West on Tuesday, a lawyer for Toyota Motor Corp urged the judge to order all the California court cases to be sent to Orange County, the same jurisdiction where over 100 separate Toyota cases brought in U.S. district courts around the country have been assigned to a single federal judge.