McCathern vs Toyota Motor Corporation
We live in the time of rapid scientific and technological progress that leads to two quite opposite results. Of course, it makes our life easier and more comfortable, but, at the same time, technological implement is not always safe for the consumer. It may hurt or even kill if there is one little defect in the mechanism. Therefore, before buying something one must take into consideration any information about the company that produces it and the comments of the users.
Ms. McCathern and Ms. Sanders Car Incident with 1994 Toyota 4Runner
The rollover of the 1994 Toyota 4Runner made a profound impact on the community. From the one hand, Ms. McCathern got a serious spinal cord injury after the accident. As a result, a young woman suffers from quadriplegia. From the other hand, this is the only attained verdict against Toyota for a rollover of this sports utility vehicle.
In 1994, at the end of spring, two cousins, Ms. McCathern and Ms. Sanders, together with their daughters were riding in 1994 Toyota 4Runner. Ms. Sanders was the driver and Ms. McCathern was in the front passenger seat. Their girls were in the back seats. Everyone was wearing a seatbelt. Nevertheless, it did not help them avoid the approaching disaster. Their speed was approximately 50 miles per hour. An approaching car veered into their lane of travel. Trying to avoid the collision, Ms. Sanders maneuvered the car. However, when she started to steer clear, Toyota rolled over. To top it all, the roof over the front passenger seat collapsed. As a result, Ms. McCathern suffers from serious injuries of the spinal cord. At a later date, she sustained quadriplegia.
From the first sight, the case seems to be common. Nevertheless, Toyota 4Runner would not have rolled over, if the vehicle had been designed without the defects. That is why, Ms. McCathern filed lawsuit in the Oregon state court against Toyota Motor Corporation. The claim of plaintiff was supported by the testimony of experts. Ms. McCathern declared that the vehicle was unreasonably dangerous and defective. What is more, she was persuaded that 1994 Toyota 4Runner was prone to rollover and it was totally unstable.
The design’s concept of defectiveness forms the basis for products liability law. The concept of the design of the product predefines the limit to which use of the product will provoke human injury. The law of products liability is based on the premise that those who produce goods in large quantities must respond in the court for the safety and security of the designs of the produced products. By and large, every consumer must be aware of the fact that he/she will not sustain an injury after buying some goods. The cornerstone of each country is the law. That is why law must defend the needs of the customer and hold to answers those who make mistakes. Therefore, the price of such errors may be fatal. As usual, the product liability suit can be checked with the help of consumer expectation test.
The Largest Verdicts in the History in the State of Oregon
Unfortunately, Toyota Motor Corporation did not pay attention to the fact that the 1994 Toyota 4Runner had a high risk of rolling over and started to sell it. Nevertheless, the experts of plaintiff came to the conclusion that it was possible to build a car that would not roll over due to tire friction forces alone. What is more, one said that the changes in design could improve the stability and handling of the vehicle. Such measures could even reduce the cost.
After three weeks of trial and three days of deliberations, the jury took one of the largest verdicts in the history in the State of Oregon. It awarded damages totaling more than $7.6 million.
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