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LOS ANGELES -- In selecting U.S. District Judge James V. Selna to hear more than 100 federal lawsuits filed around the country against Toyota, a federal judicial panel also granted a formal request by the Lanier Law Firm to rename the litigation and expand its scope.
The April 9 transfer order by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidates all the federal cases to be heard by Judge Selna in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
The panel has renamed the defective gas pedal litigation "Unintended Acceleration Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation," the Lanier firm announced.
Judge Selna already has some experience in the Toyota Litigation, as he is currently presiding over Beard, et al. v. Toyota Motor Corp., et al. (No. 8:10-cv-00183-JVS-RNB). The lawsuit, filed by Mark Lanier and Dana Taschner, managing attorney of the Lanier Law Firm's Los Angeles office, covers owners of recalled Toyotas, owners who have experienced unexpected acceleration in non-recalled Toyotas, and those who have suffered financial damages as a result of recent Toyota recalls.
In the Beard case, the two sides have already stipulated to cooperatively propose a Pretrial Order for scheduling, thereby establishing a protocol for the transferred cases.
Toyota has recalled more than 10 million vehicles covering 17 different models, including recalls based on unexpected acceleration, faulty floor mats, brake problems, drive shaft malfunctions, and other problems. The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recorded 34 deaths attributed to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.