Posts Tagged ‘Toyota’

March 5 roundup

  • Trial lawyer TV: mistranslation, plaintiff’s experts were instrumental in “Anderson Cooper 360” CNN story trying to keep sudden-acceleration theory alive [Corp Counsel, Toyota, PDF, background]
  • “Can I get a form to file a police complaint?” No. No, you can’t [Balko]
  • Madison County lawyer runs for judgeship [MCRecord; earlier on her columnist-suing past]
  • RIP Dan Popeo, founder and head of Washington Legal Foundation [Mark Tapscott, Examiner]
  • Louisiana: “Church Ordered to Stop Giving Away Free Water” [Todd Starnes, Fox via Amy Alkon]
  • Developer of “Joustin’ Beaver” game files for declaratory judgment against singer Justin Bieber’s trademark, publicity claims [THR, Esq.]
  • “Why are Indian reservations so poor?” [John Koppisch, Forbes] “Payday loans head to the Indian reservations” [Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason] Tribal recognition: high-stakes D.C. game where lobbyists get the house rake-off [Chris Edwards, Cato]

A baffling award for ABC’s Toyota scaremongering

John Cook at Gawker wants to know how a coveted Edward R. Murrow prize could just have been bestowed on the Toyota-panic reporting of ABC’s Brian Ross (“America’s Wrongest Reporter”), given that it showcased staged, fakey footage, relied heavily on the assertions of a safety consultant whose plaintiff’s-side involvement in the controversy went unmentioned, and omitted details that would have raised readers’ doubts on key themes, among many other sins. Later investigations, of course, decisively refuted the lawyer-stoked fears that Toyotas have some mysterious tendency to accelerate out of control. More: Ted Frank and Hans Bader, and my take on the sad history of media irresponsibility on car-safety scares.

May 31 roundup

April 6 roundup

  • Lack of defect poses problem for plaintiff: Toyota prevails in first acceleration case [NLJ]
  • Australia: writer Andrew Bolt on trial for alleged racially disparaging columns [Herald Sun, Crikey, The Age]
  • “Attorneys Put Themselves Before Consumers in Class Action over Faulty Computer Chip” [CJAC, Frank/CCAF on NVidia case]
  • Ruling by Federal Circuit is thinning out rush of patent marking cases [Qualters, NLJ, earlier]
  • Podcast: Lester Brickman and “Lawyer Barons” [PoL, earlier here and here]
  • “Are class actions unconstitutional?” [Lahav, Mass Tort Lit, on Martin Redish book]
  • “Free speech belongs on campuses too” [Ilya Shapiro, Cato, on Widener case, with kind mention of Schools for Misrule]
  • King Canute turns attention to dry land: states mull bills to forbid use of distressed properties as appraisal comps [Funnell]

“Toyota: The Media Owe You an Apology”

Ed Wallace at Bloomberg Business Week tells why the Toyota sudden-acceleration debacle merely replays a long and sad history:

I don’t mean to single out CBS for criticism. Plenty of other media outlets share the blame. For 30 years they have treated us to Jeep, Suzuki, and Isuzu Trooper rollovers, Audi unintended acceleration, side-saddle gas tanks exploding, police cars catching on fire, Firestone tires blowing out, and then the Toyota case. And each time the media took the word of those with a vested financial interest in the outcome—and every time they got burned for doing so.

I wrote about this in my article “It Didn’t Start With Dateline NBC” and in the chapter “Trial Lawyer TV” of my book The Rule of Lawyers.

Plus: For comic relief, here’s a New York Times editorial claiming the findings “did nothing to dispel concerns” about safety. And welcome listeners of Ray Dunaway’s morning show on WTIC (Hartford).

NHTSA: no electronic flaws in Toyotas

It’s basically the same message that leaked out seven months ago. In a new post at Cato at Liberty, I raise some questions about why it took so long to release the study results.

More: Jalopnik, Coyote, Marc Hodak, Rick Woldenberg/AmendTheCPSIA, Dan Fisher/Forbes, Dan Bigman/Forbes (LaHood: “no defect, but we’ll regulate the industry anyway”); Carter Wood/ShopFloor and more, Ted Frank/PoL (class action over loss of resale value continues), New York Times, Leonard Evans/AOL. My March 2010 National Review piece “Exorcising Toyota’s Demons” is here. And welcome readers from Instapundit, Charlie Martin/PJ Tatler, Pejman Yousefzadeh, Roger Donway/Atlas Society, Ira Stoll/Future of Capitalism.

Toyota theories shift

Unable to show any electronic flaw in the vehicles, plaintiff’s lawyers switch to the theory that the automaker should have embraced “brake override” technology that disengages the throttle when the brake is applied. That technology doesn’t work, of course, if the driver is in fact mistakenly hitting the accelerator when intending to hit the brake — which was what happened in earlier sudden-acceleration scares, and looks likely to be the cause of most of the Toyota incidents as well. [L.A. Times]

November 22 roundup

Product liability edition:

  • You mean cigarettes were dangerous? “Florida jury awards $80M to daughter in anti-smoking case” [AP]
  • “Acne drug not found to increase suicide risk” [BBC, earlier on Accutane here, here, etc.]
  • “Man hit by jar of exploding fruit says $150,000 award isn’t enough” [Detroit News via Obscure Store]
  • Chicago accident coverage exemplifies Toyota acceleration hysteria [Fumento/CEI] NHTSA-NRC panel findings on subject [PoL]
  • Strict product liability is in decline, according to Prof. David Owen [Abnormal Use]
  • More questions raised on $500 million Nevada hepatitis verdict [PoL]
  • Notwithstanding chatter in press about toxic cosmetics, study finds cosmetologists have below-average cancer rates [David Oliver]
  • Florida juries repeatedly hold Ford liable for millions when drivers fall asleep [five years ago on Overlawyered]