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Graves v. Toyota Class Action

Graves v. Toyota Class Action

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Published by FindLaw

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Published by: FindLaw on Feb 12, 2010
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03/09/2012

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THESOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA(Charleston Division)MICHAEL GRAVES, and MICHAEL C.GRAVES, and
JEFF MULLINS,Individually, and on Behalf ofall others similarly situated,Plaintiffs,v. CASE NO. _________________ TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING,WEST VIRGINIA, INC., a West VirginiaCorporation;
 
TOYOTA MOTOR NORTHAMERICA INC., a California corporation;TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING &MANUFACTURING NORTHAMERICA, INC., a Kentucky corporation; andTOYOTA MOTOR SALES U.S.A., INC.,a California corporation,Defendants.COMPLAINT
This is a Class Action seeking damages, restitution and equitable relief forconsumers who have purchased a Toyota or Lexus vehicle containing the electronicthrottle control system known as the ETCS-Intelligent System (“ETCS-i.”) Vehiclesequipped with ETCS-i have a dangerous propensity to suddenly accelerate withoutdriver input and against the intentions of the driver. This increased propensity forrunaway acceleration stems in part from the ETCS-i’s vulnerability to electronic“confusion” in the ETCS-i sensors and electronics processors. Despite knowledge ofsuch risks, Toyota failed to provide necessary electronic and mechanical failsafes toenable drivers to bring their vehicles back under control if a runaway event should
2:09-cv-1247
 
occur, as other vehicle manufacturers have done. The Plaintiffs bring this action onbehalf of themselves, and all others similarly situated.Plaintiffs, MICHAEL GRAVES, MICHAEL C. GRAVES, and JEFF MULLINS, bytheir undersigned counsel make the allegations in this Class Action on personalknowledge as to their own acts and status upon actual knowledge, and as to all othermatters upon information and belief and the investigation of counsel.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
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This action asserts claims under West Virginia law, for negligence, breachof express and implied warranties, and for unjust enrichment.2. The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d) because thematter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $5,000,000 exclusive of interests andcosts and is a class action in which the members of the Class are citizens of a differentstate than the Defendants.3. Plaintiff Michael Graves is a resident of Fayette County, West Virginia.Plaintiff Michael C. Graves is a resident of Kanawha County, West Virginia. Plaintiff JeffMullins is a resident of Marion County, West Virginia. The Defendant TOYOTA MOTORMANUFACTURING WEST VIRGINIA, INC. is a West Virginia corporation having aprincipal place of business in Putnam County, West Virginia. Defendant TOYOTAMOTOR ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC. is aKentucky corporation. Defendant TOYOTA MOTOR NORTH AMERICA, INC. is aCalifornia corporation. Defendant TOYOTA MOTOR SALES U.S.A., INC., is aCalifornia corporation.
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4. The Court has personal jurisdiction over the Toyota Defendants becausethey conduct substantial business in the State of West Virginia, have sufficient minimumcontacts with the State, and otherwise avail themselves of the markets in this State,through promotion, sale, marketing, and distribution of their products and services inthis State, so as to render the exercise of jurisdiction by this Court permissible undertraditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. The State of West Virginia has asubstantial and paramount interest in preventing the practices alleged herein fromoccurring in West Virginia.5. Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391 because,among other things, a substantial portion of the acts and omissions complained ofoccurred in this judicial district. The Plaintiff Michael C. Graves, is a resident of the Cityof Charleston, in Kanawha County, West Virginia, and purchased a Toyota vehicle froma Toyota dealer located in Kanawha County, West Virginia. The Plaintiff MichaelGraves purchased a Toyota vehicle from a Toyota dealer located in Kanawha County,West Virginia. Toyota vehicles are marketed, sold, and serviced by Toyota throughoutthis judicial district, including but not limited to Kanawha County, West Virginia.
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
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The Plaintiffs seek damages, restitution and equitable relief for themselvesand on behalf of all others similarly situated, who have purchased a Toyota vehiclecontaining the electronic throttle control system known as the ETCS-Intelligent System(“ETCS-i”) due to the dangerous propensity for vehicles so equipped to suddenlyaccelerate without driver input and against the intentions of the driver, coupled withToyota’s failure to provide necessary electronic and/or mechanical failsafes to enable
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