Very rarely are large manufacturers of defective products — whether they are car manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies or medical device makers — ever going to step up and take financial responsibility for the harm caused by their products.
In this case Toyota resolved a single case. This follows the playbook by attempting to only resolve the most egregious cases, and only when the likelihood of losing at trial is imminent. As this case demonstrates, only with the right to a jury trial — and the ability of consumer trial attorneys forcing the wrongdoer to justice — will there be a measure of justice and compensation for the victims. Unfortunately, despite overwhelming evidence of product failure, recalls, death and mayhem, the defendants in these cases continue to hold their ground; denying liability and engaging in frivolous and expensive defenses.
It is more difficult each day to win cases, when a corporation has billions of dollars to hire entire teams of law firms in an attempt to crush an individual plaintiff. The victory today is a rare example of justice. The American people would be shocked to learn that this headline is a remarkable exception rather than the rule. The average case, where the injured party merely “broke their arm” or was not grievously injured, precludes the plaintiff from pursuing the case — simply because of the overwhelming economic disparity between the injured party and the mighty corporations.
As long as the judicial trend continues to attempt to limit consumer class actions, by legislative and judicial presumption, powerful corporations will be able to take advantage of injured people.