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Toyota’s Legal Woes Deepen

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  • Toyota’s Legal Woes Deepen

    Already facing a blitz of negative media coverage and a growing wave of class-action suits, Toyota has now been hit with another serious-sounding wrongful death lawsuit.

    Trina Renee Harris, a 34-year-old mother of two, died last year when her Toyota Corolla sped through a stop sign in Houston and smashed into a cement wall.

    Her husband, Michael Harris, filed suit Monday against Toyota, gas pedal maker CTS Corp. and Fred Haas Toyota World, which leased the car. Lawyers involved say it’s likely the third wrongful-death case filed in response to Toyota’s acceleration problems. Here’s a report from the Houston Chronicle.

    “I want those who were negligent to be held responsible. This problem was there before Dec. 18 when she died,” Michael Harris said. The Navy officer recently had completed a stint on an aircraft carrier in the Middle East and was in San Diego when he learned of his wife’s death, the Chron reports. He returned to Houston, where the family opened Christmas gifts Trina Harris had bought.

    “I have a whirlwind of emotions. I’m extremely angry for my children. She won’t be there for the prom. When they get married, she won’t be there,” Harris said in an interview at the offices of his Houston attorneys, Ken and Judy Mingledorff. The suit seeks $200 million in actual and punitive damages.

    Toyota has recalled millions of vehicles and has issued what it says is a fix to the acceleration problem.

    A Toyota spokeswoman told the Chron that the company would not comment on pending litigation. A manager at Fred Haas said they have not yet seen the suit and calls to CST Corp. were not returned.

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