I thought I would pack in a couple of settlements involving products that caused injury. So, I’ve loaded the blog up and here we go.
First, Toyota has agreed to settle a lawsuit over the first sudden-acceleration fatal accident case. This is the case that brought this problem to the news, when an off-duty highway patrolman’s borrowed Lexus that he gotten from a California dealership, could not be stopped. The 911 call that was replayed on several news stories, was made by a person watching the horrific event as it occurred.
The unusual circumstance of the settlement pitted the dealership against Toyota. Toyota paid 10 million dollars to settle it but wanted to keep the settlement confidential. They had defended the case by saying that the acceleration occurred because the dealership had put the floor mats to close to the pedal. The dealer fought the confidentiality because they would not take the blame and placed it squarely on the manufacturing pedal defect. The settlement then became public, due to a Judge’s ruling.
If you recall, Toyota took the position that either the story was a complete fabrication or the dealership’s placement of the floor-mats was the only cause. Then, Toyota, through its chairman, acted as though they would take full responsibility. Despite all that, they still fought this flow of information.
I guess they are just hoping that the public forgets, as they run their “touching” holiday commercials. Do you really know anyone who got a Lexus, with a bow, for Christmas? Plus, who pulls their new car into the house, for a Christmas morning. That would be a surprise to see that in the living room.
The second case and settlement relates to a Whole Foods holiday product. The Food and Drug Administration has announced the recall of assembled Ginger Bread houses that were sold at the grocery store chain in 23 states.
The ginger bread houses, assembled by Illinois company, Rolf’s Patisserie, are being recalled after the products were shown to cause over 100 people to get sick with staphylococcus aureus food poisoning. This form of bacteria causes nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. Anyone who has ever experienced food poisoning can certainly feel a lot of sympathy for those people.