The widower and children of a woman who died in an SUV rollover accident last May are suing Toyota Corporation and Courtesy Toyota of Brandon for wrongful death. Elisa Obediente, 56, died after losing control of her vehicle on Interstate 75 in Florida. According to police, she over-corrected her steering to avoid hitting another vehicle when making a lane change and her 1998 Toyota 4Runner rolled over multiple times.
The Florida auto products liability lawsuit contends that the defendants
neglected to properly protect Obediente during the rollover crash. The
plaintiffs are claiming that the SUV had inherent defects that could have
been easily remedied, including roof rails, windshield headers, and pillars
that might have prevented the severe roof crush that occurred if they
were made stronger. Because the roof did collapse inward, Obediente was
partially ejected from the vehicle.
The plaintiffs’ Florida auto products liability lawyer maintains
that Toyota could have easily installed Electronic Stability Control technology
and that ESC could have helped the 56-year-old mother and wife to regain
control of the car after over-steering. They also say other improvements
could have been made at a low cost that might have prevented Obediente’s death.
Also, the Federal Registry had reportedly completed a study ranking the
4Runner as the second car most likely in its class to be involved in a
rollover crash, Yet, according to the plaintiffs, Toyota failed to reveal
the rollover risks and even suggested that customers purchase a tire and
wheel package that actually could increase the chances of a 4Runner rolling
over. They also say that the defendants knew as far back as the late 1960′s
that these SUV’s were susceptible to roof crushes but they misled
the public into believing that they had strengthened their vehicles to
withstand such accidents.
The Florida wrongful death lawsuit also is accusing the defendants of
falsifying test results to come up with inaccurate rollover crush force
minimums to make it appear as if certain auto parts had been strengthened
against higher roof crush forces.
The plaintiffs are seeking wrongful death compensation, as well as compensation
for loss of care, financial support, companionship, love, moral support,
Auto products liability cases
can be brought when a design defect, manufacturing defect, or marketing
defect contributed to a car crash that resulted in personal injury or
Woman dies after SUV rolls over on I-75, TBO.com, May 24, 2009
Toyota 4Runner SUV Rollover Lawsuit Filed Over Fatal Crash, About Lawsuits,
August 10, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Toyota 4Runner Problems, AutoMotix.net
SUV Rollovers, BrainandSpinalCord.org