Judge Keeps Toyota MDL Bellwether Alive For Now

Law360, New York (September 13, 2011, 3:04 PM EDT) -- A California federal judge on Monday tentatively denied Toyota Motor Corp.'s bid to dismiss the first bellwether case in multidistrict litigation over alleged sudden acceleration defects in its cars, saying the potential damages amount appeared to merit federal jurisdiction.

U.S. District Judge James V. Selna said in a tentative ruling that the plaintiffs could bring punitive damages under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act because controlling state law allows for it, meaning the suit may meet the $50,000 damages threshold for bringing litigation in federal court. Toyota had argued that under the MMWA, the plaintiffs could only recover the $21,000 the car was...

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