LOS ANGELES - A verdict clearing Toyota in the death of a California woman whose 2006 Camry apparently accelerated despite her efforts to stop could bode well for the Japanese automaker as it faces similar cases.
Jurors deliberated for about five days before reaching their decision Thursday and concluding the vehicle's design didn't contribute to the death of 66-year-old Noriko Uno. She who was killed in August 2009 when her car was struck by another, sending her vehicle into a telephone pole and tree.
The outcome of the so-called "bellwether" case could influence whether Toyota should be held responsible for sudden unintended acceleration as part of a larger group of lawsuits filed in state courts. Another case began in Oklahoma this week and there are more than 80 similar lawsuits filed in state courts.
Toyota blamed driver error for the crash.