Since becoming a lawyer in 1989, my practice has focused on a lot of different areas. Early in my career, I practiced criminal law as part of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office. Later, I decided to focus on civil cases, especially those involving products liability and workplace injuries, which is where my focus is today.
When individuals are harmed, injured or killed by an unsafe, or defective, product, they may have a case against the manufacturer, supplier, distributor or retailer of that product. This area of law is known as Product Liability. A products liability claim is usually based on design defect, manufacturing defect or a failure to warn the consumer about a possible product defect or danger. Sometimes these cases involve a combination of these factors.
I have been working for the past few years on cases involving claims of injury or death related to Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA). In January of 2010, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. announced the suspension of manufacturing and sales of many of its bestselling models after a series of safety recalls involving millions of vehicles. The recalls involved both Toyota and Lexus vehicles, and mainly had to do with the problem of sudden unintended acceleration.
Toyota claims the problems with SUA are caused by faulty floor mats that trapped gas pedals, or sticky gas pedals. But I, along with many other lawyers, know the primary problem with SUA is tied to defects in the vehicles’ hardware and software systems. I had been actively investigating SUA problems for about two years prior to the first recall, which happened in September 2009. In particular, I am looking into Toyota sudden unintended acceleration resulting from electronic throttle control defects.
Interestingly, Toyota keeps the source code for the electronic controls under tight surveillance at a facility in Columbia, Md. Toyota’s lawyers say the code holds sensitive trade secrets that must be kept out of the hands of competitors. Due to my role in preparing this case for trial, I am one of only a handful of lawyers granted access to the source code room as part of this litigation.
If you have a case involving serious personal injury or death that you think may be the result of a defective product, or Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration, I’d like to talk to you. You may have a claim against the product’s manufacturer.