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February 2010 Archives

TOYOTA INSISTS NO DESIGN DEFECT IN ELECTRONIC THROTTLE CONTROL SYSTEM

Testifying before Congress, Mr. Toyoda said he was "absolutely confident" there was no design flaw in Toyota's electronic throttle-control system. But one of his executives, and Mr. LaHood, said they couldn't be sure in congressional testimony Tuesday and Wednesday.

New United States Supreme Opinion on Diversity Jurisdiction

The United States Supreme Court decided a rule of jurisdiction pertaining to parties who are involved in potentially federal court litigation. In the case of Hertz V. Friend, the Court reviewed a case in which Hertz Corporation was named as a defendant and sought to remove the state court case to federal court based upon a diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction argument. The plaintiffs sued in the state court of California alleging that Hertz' principal place of business was in California because a plurality of the relevant business activity occurred there.

New Reports of Sudden-Acceleration Deaths in Toyota Vehicles

According to new reports, at least 34 people have died in accidents involving Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles in the past 10 years due to sudden, unexpected acceleration of those vehicles. This number is indicative of the sharp rise in the number of complaints being filed since Toyota announced its latest recalls. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 13 of those fatalities have been reported since January 27, 2010, which is the day after Toyota ordered a sales and production halt on eight models in the United States.The reason for the deaths and one of the reasons for the recall is that the gas pedals in certain Toyota vehicles can stick and cause unintended acceleration. The vehicles then suddenly race forward, smashing into other cars, buildings, and pedestrians. In addition to the deaths, 22 people have reported injuries from unintended acceleration accidents involving Toyota vehicles.The jump in reported deaths caused by its vehicles demonstrates another troubling development for Toyota in a long line of dangerous defects. Many experts expect the onslaught of bad news to continue, especially with the House and Senate committee hearings upcoming in the next few weeks.

"Proposed Changes to Disciplinary Rules May Make it Harder to Withdraw from Cases

The recently proposed changes to the disciplinary rules have modified the enumerated reasons a lawyer can withdraw from representation. Under current rule 1.15 a lawyer is specifically allowed to withdraw if a client fails to pay the lawyer's fee. Under the proposed rule this specific basis has been removed. Although not in effect yet, this could cause major issues for attorneys who bill for their services on an hourly basis or flat fee. The final version of the proposed rules should be available very soon.

Honda Recall - Defective Airbags

In the latest round of automobile recalls, Japanese number two automaker - Honda Motor Co. - is adding 437,000 vehicles to its 15 month old global recall for faulty air bags. The company reports that it will replace the driver's side airbag inflator in the recalled cars because the current air bags can deploy with too much pressure, causing the inflator to rupture and injure or kill the driver.

Honda Recalls More Vehicles for Airbag Risk

On Tuesday, February 9, 2010, Honda announced that it would be recalling another 438,000 cars globally to replace an airbag deflator that could and hurl shards toward a driver in an auto accident. Just recently, on January 29th, Honda recalled 646,000 vehicles for a defective window switch. The defective window switch recently caused a Honda Jazz vehicle to be engulfed in flames, which killed a child in South Africa. Now, Honda is claiming that there is a serious defect in its airbags. This all follows the unprecedented recall of millions of vehicles by Toyota.

Toyota Recall

Research into complaints filed with the federal government and other sources suggest the problem may not be restricted to new, third-generation 2010 Priuses and could involve vehicles dating back to the 2005 model year or even earlier.

Insurance Coverage ? What To Do Following a Catastrophe

Recently, I did a podcast where I was asked questions regarding what to do following a catastrophe with your insurance claim. The podcast was conducted in a question-and-answer format and ended up running about twenty minutes long. That podcast can be reached by navigating my firm's website (http://www.abrahamwatkins.com/). I wanted to discuss what you should do following a catastrophe, such as a hurricane or a fire.

Chevrolet Cobalt Under Investigation

The Houston Chronicle reported that based on 1,132 complaints about the Chevrolet Cobalt's electric power steering (including reports of 11 accidents and one injury), the United States federal regulators have opened an investigation into the vehicle. The investigation is into approximately 905,000 vehicles covering the model years 2005 to 2009, and a theme common to the complaints is the inability of the driver to stay in their lane of traffic when steering became difficult. Those with knowledge of the investigation believe the focus is on the possibility of failure of the electric power steering systems.

Election Day Nears

As Election Day draws near, one can't help but recognize, a note of particular importance to all candidates and political parties, that the Latino voters will play a pivotal role in out nation's elections in 2008. With the Latino population ever increasing and for that matter, the Latino electorate, many candidates up for election come November are actively pursuing Latino support in order to succeed.

Toyota's Sticky Gas Pedal Problem Could Spell Serious Injuries For Consumers

Our lawyers at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend are currently handling a number of product liability cases. In fact, for almost 60 years, our firm has represented hundreds of clients complaining of injuries caused by defective vehicles and or parts. One case in particular regards a Honda vehicle that needed repair to a recalled defective part. The facts in the case detail the unfortunate situation wherein a dealership failed to properly repair the recalled part and the owner of the Honda was fatally injured as a result.

LAW CHANGES IN FAVOR OF TEXAS POLICE OFFICERS

bagosto@abrahamwatkins.com, Jr., Chelsie King Garza and Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend undertook the representation of Eluid Cesar Hinojosa, a Sergeant with the Harris County Constable's Office, when he challenged a decision of the Texas Department of Insurance - Workers Compensation Division regarding compensability of benefits in Harris County District Court. The injured worker was victorious at trial, was again victorious when the Texas 1st Court of Appeals affirmed the trial Court's decision, and now celebrates the Texas Supreme Court's decision not to review the Appellate Court's ruling.

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