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Indiana woman sues Toyota due to recall

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A Hamilton County woman has filed a class action suit against Toyota, alleging fraud and breach of warranties as a result of the recent recall of Toyota vehicles.

Judith M. Enderle filed the suit Wednesday in federal court claiming Toyota knew their cars had defects in the accelerator systems when people purchased them, failed to recall the defective cars at the earliest possible date, and blamed the defect on floor mats.

She seeks class action certification, an award of punitive or exemplary damages against Toyota, restitution and disgorgement of profits, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. She also wants a jury trial.

Enderle purchased a 2006 Toyota Avalon from an Indianapolis Toyota dealer in 2006; that car is subject to the January 2010 recall. She seeks to bring this case as a class action for every person or entity in Indiana who owns a Toyota car that is subject to the recall for defects in the accelerator system. The suit only seeks recovery for economic losses of the class and not recovery for personal injury.

Enderle seeks damages from the company resulting from the "serious" safety defect that renders the vehicles unfit for their intended and expected purpose, according to the suit. She claims Toyota breached implied and express warranties, received unjust enrichment, and committed constructive fraud and negligence, and is liable for its design, manufacturing, and sales of the cars. Nearly 5.3 million cars have been recalled nationwide because of the accelerator defect.

The suit, Judith M. Enderle, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. Toyota Motor North America Inc., et al., No. 1:10-CV-142, was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. She's represented by Cohen & Malad in Indianapolis.

Enderle's suit joins the list of lawsuits around the country filed by Toyota owners as a result of the recall. Irwin Levin, one of Enderle's attorneys, said he believes hers is the first one filed in Indiana. Some of those suits involve incidents of stuck gas pedals and injuries. Enderle's gas pedal has not become stuck, Levin said.

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  1. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  2. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

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