Local attorneys file lawsuits against Toyota

Eric Deters and Stan Chesley (FOX19)
Eric Deters and Stan Chesley (FOX19)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Two local well-known attorneys have filed lawsuits against Toyota in the sudden acceleration cases that have caused the company to stop production of most of its top selling models.

Attorneys Stan Chesley and Eric Deters have both filed lawsuits on behalf of Toyota owners.

A class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday by Chesley in Hamilton County claims Toyota owners have been hurt financially because they are paying for loans or leases on cars that will now lose resale value.  Chesley says this is what happened in another case he was involved in, when Ford and Firestone were sued when the SUV's had tires burst while traveling at high speed, leading to rollover crashes.

"Many consumers are fearful of driving their cars," Chesley said in a statement. "The cars have lost value due to this problem, creating an economic hardship for its customers in already tough economic times."

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Deters in U.S. District court in Covington is on behalf of two parties who claim they were injured in separate crashes involving Toyotas.

One woman, Debra Poynter, claims she was injured in November 2009 when she was struck by the driver of a Toyota that suddenly accelerated, going over a concrete stop bar, up on a sidewalk and crushing her legs against a wall in Kenton County.

Another woman, Tina Preedom, claims she was driving her Toyota in Grant County in October 2009 when her vehicle suddenly accelerated, left the road, hit an embankment and rolled over some railroad tracks. she suffered a broken leg, contusions, abrasions and internal injuries.

Chesley says many cases people are afraid to even drive the Toyota vehicles they are paying for.

Deters says he will be collaborating with Chesley.

Chesley stated that, in addition to seeking compensatory and punitive damages, he requested and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent Toyota's concealment or destruction of records based in part on an admission by a Toyota attorney that Toyota hid records in a number of cases involving injuries and deaths from rollovers. Chesley's co-counsel, Robert Steinberg, stated that their expert advised them Toyota failed to utilize fail safe mechanisms used by most manufacturers to prevent sudden acceleration.

Toyota has announced plans to fix the problems, saying repairs will start as soon as this week.

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