Genesee County Circuit Judge Archie Hayman has ordered Toyota’s top two U.S. executives to appear for questioning before the attorneys for the family of Guadalupe Alberto. Alberto was killed in a car accident in April of 2008 whereby her Toyota Camry is said to have unintentionally surged in speed from 25 to 80 mph near her home in Flint. Toyota and one of its biggest suppliers, Denso, are being sued by representatives of the deceased’s family; the companies had allegedly been aware of the defect in the car’s electronic throttle control system, which the family claims caused the death.
Attorneys for Toyota had filed a motion to protect Yoshimi Inaba and Jim Lentz, chairman and CEO, and president and COO, respectively, of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. from testifying in the case. Andrea Moody, an attorney for Toyota, argued before judge Hayman that attorneys could obtain the information that they sought from lower level employees.
Eric Snyder, an attorney representing the family, said that he needed to depose Inaba and Lentz because they were the public face of the company, after having testified before congressional committees. Hayman ordered the duo to appear for deposition, saying that “it certainly would appear that these gentlemen are well informed on the issues that are at the core of this case.”
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Free Press