National

Mar 25, 2010 9:05 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Attorneys sharpen tools to sue Toyota

Toyota faces a federal court hearing today on whether dozens of lawsuits over recent safety issues will be consolidated before a single judge.

A panel of federal judges in San Diego will choose whether to combine more than 100 Toyota lawsuits and where to send them.

Toyota has been hit with an avalanche of suits that potentially could cost the company billions of dollars following its recall of more than 8 million vehicles worldwide over sudden unexpected acceleration. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has linked 52 deaths to the accelerator problems, which Toyota has blamed on floor mats that can snag accelerators, or pedals that sometimes stick.

Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos says the Toyota lawsuits could set a new standard for corporate litigation.

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