Litigation

Beasley Allen Files Class Action On Behalf Of Prius, Lexis Hybrid Owners

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles P.C. on Feb. 11 announced that it has filed a complaint on behalf of more than 500,000 Toyota Prius and Lexus Hybrid owners whose vehicles have been recalled by Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (No. 1:10-CV-96997) against Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

The complaint charges Toyota with breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, breach of implied warranty of fitness for particular purpose, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment, and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The complaint alleges Toyota concealed facts relating to the defects in the accelerator braking system.

Dee Miles, who heads Beasley Allen's consumer fraud and class action department, will be working with lawyers Brian W. Smith in Florida, Joe R. Whatley in New York and Howard Rubinstein in Colorado.

Kelley Blue Book has adjusted the New Car Blue Book transaction value of the 2010 Toyota Prius down by $1,000 to $1,500 following the Feb. 8 recall announcement, and dropped the used car values of 2009 and older models of the Toyota Prius by 1.5 percent. Used car values of previously recalled Toyota models had already dropped by 1 to 3 percent last week and are expected to drop an additional 1.5 percent.

On Feb. 3, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Toyota owners they should not drive their recalled vehicles. Secretary LaHood later recanted his statement; however, millions of Toyota owners have been left worried that their vehicles are potential deathtraps, according to Beasley Allen.

This complaint follows two other class action lawsuits filed by the Beasley Allen firm in February. On Feb. 4, Beasley Allen filed a complaint seeking class action status on behalf of more than 5 million Toyota owners whose vehicles have been recalled by Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (No. 10-80208-CIV-ZLOCH/Rosenbaum) against Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. A similar complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (No. 1:10-CV-03423).

Beasley Allen also has filed an individual product liability suit in the District Court of Oklahoma County, State of Oklahoma, on behalf of plaintiffs Jean Bookout and Charles Schwarz against Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.; Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc.; and DUB Richardson Toyota (No. CJ-2008-7969). This suit alleges unintended acceleration of a 2005 Toyota Camry resulted in serious injury and death.

Headquartered in Montgomery, Beasley Allen is comprised of over 42 attorneys and 200 support staff. For more information, visit www.beasleyallen.com.