A federal jury awarded $11.44 million to the families involved in a devastating car accident in 2006, which claimed the lives of three people. Jurors decided that Toyota was 60-percent responsible for the accident due to a design defect in the driver’s 1996 Toyota Camry, which may have caused the car to accelerate before the crash. The driver, Koua Fong Lee, bears the other 40 percent of the blame.
Lee had just exited Interstate 94 in St. Paul, Minnesota when his car collided with another vehicle at high speed. Lee insisted that the car had accelerated despite his attempts to slow it. The accident resulted in the death of Javis Trice-Adams, Sr., who was driving the other vehicle, and his son, Javis Adams, Jr. His niece, Devyn Bolton, was paralyzed due to the crash, subsequently dying in October 2007. Also injured in the accident were Quincy Ray Adams and Jassmine Adams. Lee was charged and convicted of vehicular homicide. However, Lee won a new trial after reports surfaced regarding sudden acceleration in some Toyota vehicles. Prosecutors maintained that Lee’s vehicular homicide conviction was correct, but opted not to pursue a retrial.
The three survivors of the crash, along with Bridgette Trice, Devyn Bolton’s mother, filed a joint lawsuit against Toyota. The lawsuit claimed that the design of the 1996 Toyota Camry..