Minnesota Man May be Innocent After All by way of “Toyota Defense”. The causation of thousands of vehicle accidents, some of them which have resulted in criminal charges, is now at hand.
With the list of vehicles included in the recent Toyota recalls continuing to grow, the effects of the recalls are being felt far and wide. Most of us have heard about the San Diego accident last Fall that finally precipitated the first official recall. Four people tragically lost their lives as their Lexus sped down the road reaching speeds of over 100 miles per hour before tragically ending in the death of all four occupants. As it turns out, that may not have been the biggest Toyota tragedy.
In June of 2006, Koua Fong Lee, 32, was driving his 1996 Camry when he suddenly sped up an interstate ramp at 90 miles per hour and plowed into the rear end of an Oldsmobile killing all three occupants. At the time, Lee claimed that he did everything he could to stop the car but was unable to. In 2007, a Minnesota jury sent the young man to prison for eight years. At the time of the accident, Lee claimed that he tried using the brakes, but wasn’t able to stop the car. During the trial, the brakes on his Camry were investigated but found to be working fine. Now, in light of the recent Toyota “stuck floor mat recall” and the “sticky pedal recall”, new questions about his conviction are being raised. Lee has maintained all along that he was not to blame for the accident. “I know 100 percent in my heart that I took my foot off the gas and that I was stepping on the brakes as hard as possible. When the brakes were looked at, and we were told that nothing was wrong with the brakes, I was shocked”. At the time of his sentencing, the family members of the victims testified against him and asked that he be sent to prison. In light of the new information regarding defective vehicles, they have now changed their minds and are supporting Lee’s attempt to re-open his case.
Lee’s 1996 Camry was manufactured prior to the dates listed for the vehicles on the recall lists, however that doesn’t mean that his car wasn’t manufactured with a defective part. A check of the complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that there are 20 complaints filed for the 1996 Camry under the general “vehicle speed control” designation. These complaints start all the way back in 1996 and consistently list problems that sound eerily familiar at this point. It is, sadly for everyone involved, entirely possible that Mr. Lee did do everything he could to stop his vehicle that fateful day back in 2006. Furthermore, he may have spent the last three years in prison for someone else’s negligence. Luckily, his vehicle is still available for re-inspection and the prosecutor is backing his request for everyone to take a new look as his conviction.
If you have been involved in an accident and feel that a defective part played a part in the accident, then seek the advice of a California product liability and personal injury lawyer immediately. If you were injured in the accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If you were operating the potentially defective vehicle, then you may also have a legal course of action against the manufacturer. The experts at Ledger & Associates are available at 1-800-300-0001 or online at www.ledgerlaw.com to assist you.