Landmark Toyota Case
Trial Ready Product Liability Lawyers in Oklahoma
At Martin Jean & Jackson, Attorneys at Law, we are dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive the best legal representation available. Our more than 100 years of combined experience in personal injury law has taught us who to talk to and how to get the answers and compensation injury victims deserve. Our Oklahoma product liability attorneys were responsible for successfully litigating a landmark case against Toyota for defective auto parts.
Our Firm’s Involvement in Landmark Toyota Sudden Acceleration Verdict
An Oklahoma City jury returned a multi-million dollar verdict in favor of our clients, Jean Bookout and the family of Barbara Schwarz. The verdict was handed down after the jury found the electronic throttle control system (ETCS) on Mrs. Bookout’s 2005 Toyota Camry to be defective and directly responsible for the Camry’s unintended acceleration crash.
Martin Jean & Jackson’s senior partner, Paul Martin, represented Mrs. Bookout and the Schwarz estate. Martin assembled the team of lawyers that ultimately obtained this landmark verdict against Toyota.
"When I met with the Schwarz family and Mrs. Bookout, I knew this was not a simple auto accident. I also knew what we would be up against in this case. At the time of this crash, Toyota had taken a hard stance that sudden acceleration was a made-up phenomenon and that theses crashes were caused by driver error, not the company's defective electronic throttle control system. I contacted Alabama firm Beasley Allen to get involved. Beasley Allen is highly skilled at taking on corporate giants like Toyota. They have the resources and expertise to successfully litigate a case of this magnitude. The attorneys who tried this case, Jere Beasley, Cole Portis, Graham Esdale, Ben Baker and Larry Tawwater, did an exceptional job researching this case, putting on the evidence and ultimately ending the trial with a landmark verdict for the Plaintiffs and victims of sudden unintended acceleration injuries across the country."
This was a landmark case because:
- This was the first case in which attorneys argued that the defect was in the vehicle’s electronic throttle control system. In prior cases, attorneys had unsuccessfully argued that the problem was a failure to have a brake override system.
- This was the first verdict against Toyota, as the company had prevailed in three previous sudden acceleration trials.
- The decision prompted the company to enter settlement talks in nearly 400 pending state and federal lawsuits.
In addition to the $3 million verdict awarded to Mrs. Bookout and the Schwarz family, the jury found that Toyota acted in “reckless disregard of the rights” of the plaintiffs and that punitive damages were warranted in this case. Before the case proceeded to the punitive damages state, Toyota’s attorneys requested a settlement. The case was resolved for a confidential amount.
For his involvement in this Landmark case, our Senior Partner, Paul Martin was nominated for Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. Each year, Public Justice presents its Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to the attorney(s) who made the greatest contribution to the public interest within the past year by trying or settling a precedent-setting, socially significant case.
Putting Our Clients’ Best Interests First
Our clients’ best interests are always paramount for our Oklahoma personal injury attorneys. In the Toyota case and all injury cases, we are dedicated to providing the best legal representation for every client. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of collective experience and we know who to contact for each case that comes to our firm.
We stand up to companies of all sizes for the benefit of our clients. Call our office in Tulsa at (918) 623-4119, Stillwater at (405) 384-7887, or Ponca City at (580) 290-1006.