Toyota to Pay Family $242M for Lexus Seat Defect
August 20, 2018—A Texas jury on Friday hit Toyota with a $242 million verdict after finding that defects in the front seats of a 2002 Lexus ES300 caused serious injuries to a Dallas family’s two young children during a rear-end collision in 2016, reported Bloomberg.
The jury in state court in Dallas awarded $144 million in punitive damages after finding Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Sales were grossly negligent in the matter, according to court papers. The jury found that the front seats were unreasonably dangerous and that the company didn’t warn of the risk, according to the report.
“While we respect the jury’s decision, we remain confident that the injuries sustained were the result of factors specific to this very severe collision, not a defect in the design or manufacturing of the 2002 Lexus ES300,” Eric Booth, a spokesman for Toyota, said in a statement. “We will consider our options moving forward.”
Frank Branson, an attorney for the family, said in a statement there were structural problems with the front seatbacks that protect front-seat passengers from injuries such as whiplash at the expense of rear-seat passengers.