Jury Orders Toyota to Pay $3M to Crash Victims

The jury found the car company acted with “reckless disregard” for others, setting up a second phase of trial to determine punitive damages

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An Oklahoma jury found Toyota liable Thursday for a 2007 crash that killed one woman and seriously injured another when their car suddenly accelerated.

The jury awarded $1.5 million in damages to the injured woman and another $1.5 million to the dead woman’s family, CBS News reports, and said that the company acted in “reckless disregard.” That finding lays the groundwork for a second phase of the trial to determine potentially larger punitive damages.

Jean Bookout, 82, was injured and Barbara Schwarz, 70, was killed when the 2005 Camry they were driving suddenly accelerated — due to a faulty electronic throttle-control system, the plaintiffs say — and slammed into an embankment near Eufala, Okla.

Toyota blamed driver error in the lawsuit, but shelled out more than $1 billion in 2012 to settle hundreds of lawsuits after millions of cars were recalled because of problems with sudden acceleration.

[CBS News]