Toyota Pays $1.2B for Misleading U.S.; Civil Claims Remain

, The National Law Journal

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A $1.2 billion settlement between Toyota Motor Corp. and the U.S. Department of Justice will have little direct effect on negotiations to settle remaining lawsuits over deaths and injuries associated with sudden acceleration, but could sway jurors should those cases go to trial, according to attorneys involved in those actions.

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    Regardless of the confession beaten out of it, Toyota‘s biggest mistakes were these:

    The first was to be a Japanese company dominating the U.S. auto market when a debt-driving, cash-strapped administration beholden to the personal injury bar and organized labor became the principal shareholder in a bankrupted GM. Talk about a conflict of interest. What a shameful sham and shakedown.

    The second mistake was to cave into this state-sponsored extortion. The lesson all automakers and other companies should take from this episode is that they should act like Apple (see http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57619542-37/apple-files-appeal-in-e-book-antitrust-case/), not like Toyota, and tenaciously resist such crony-corrupted witch hunts, the likes of which the current DOJ, its congressional allies and many state attorneys general have sadly become notorious.

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