(LOS ANGELES) — Opening arguments were heard Thursday in the first wrongful death lawsuit against Toyota regarding the automaker’s sudden acceleration issue, which spurred the recall of millions of vehicles.
The case was brought by the family of Noriko Uno, who says the 66-year-old died in 2009 when her Toyota Camry accelerated out of control and crashed. They claim the automaker did not install a mechanism to override the accelerator if it and the brake were pressed at the same time.
“Just imagine for 35 seconds being strapped to a rocket, knowing you can’t stop it,” the family’s attorney, Garo Mardirossian, said during his opening statement in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday.
He is asking the jury to award the victim’s family $20 million.
Vincent Galvin, an attorney representing Toyota, argued that Uno had health problems — including diabetes — that played a role in her death.
“The evidence will be ladies and gentlemen that this is a case of simple driver’s error,” Galvin said during his opening remarks.
Toyota said in a statement, “We are confident the evidence will show that a break override system would not have prevented this accident and that there was no defect in Mrs. Uno’s vehicle.”
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Susan Scutti, CNN
Erin McClam, CNN
Julia Horowitz, CNN