Friday, January 21, 2011

Federal judge overseeing Toyota litigation says first trial won't be until 2013

The federal judge overseeing the Toyota litigation over sudden acceleration problems has indicated that the first trial in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) will likely not begin until early 2013, even though that may result in the first Toyota trial occurring in state court, outside of the MDL. There are about 200 Toyota lawsuits that have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and all of them involve similar allegations. Go here for more on this story. Although there are a lot of claims, it seems that this is a very long time to have to wait for a case to go to trial, particularly since the trial will only involve 4 or 5 of the claims. I should go back to check the timing of the trials related to the Dupont Plaza Hotel fire MDL in the late 80s (at the time the largest MDL to date in the US, involving thousands of plaintiffs and several hundred defendants scattered all over the US and Puerto Rico). I worked with the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee back then and I don't remember it taking that long.

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