Landmark Ruling Allows Lawsuit Against Toyota by Hilliard Munoz Gonzales
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, March 20, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --On Tuesday, March 18, a
federal judge in Minnesota gave the green light for Hilliard Munoz Gonzales
LLP to proceed with the lawsuit trial that may be the final chapter in
bringing justice to Koua Fong Lee, who was wrongfully imprisoned for four
years as a direct result of Toyota's unexpected acceleration problem that came
to light in 2009.
Robert Hilliard, lead attorney at Hilliard Munoz Gonzales
In 2006, Koua Fong Lee's 1996 Toyota Camry suddenly sped up as he exited a
highway in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lee's Camry crashed into three other
vehicles, instantly killing two people and rendering a six-year-old girl
quadriplegic; she died the following year. Lee went to trial charged with
Throughout his criminal trial, Lee maintained his innocence, insisting that
his vehicle would not stop and that the brakes failed. No one believed him
until Toyota announced a massive recall, admitting that its vehicles could
suddenly and unexpectedly accelerate. Based on the new evidence, Texas
attorney, Robert C. Hilliard, filed a Motion for New Trial for Lee, which was
granted in 2011. The prosecution declined to retry Lee, who was released from
prison after serving four years.
Upon Lee's hard-won release, Hilliard said, "This is the crowning moment of
my30-year legal career, by a thousand fold. I couldn't imagine being locked
up for four years away from my loved ones, for something I didn't do."
Hilliard, on behalf of Lee and the other crash victims, filed a lawsuit
against Toyota. Attorneys for Toyota Motor Corp. filed motions to throw out
the lawsuits, which were denied by the Minnesota judge in a landmark ruling on
March 18, 2014. The judge ruled that the Discovery Rule tolled the statute of
limitations and that the parties could proceed with their products liability
claims against Toyota. The judge also ruled that the Lees were entitled to
proceed with their claims against Toyota for negligent infliction of emotional
"Going to trial against Toyota will bring this case full circle," stated
Hilliard. "Three years ago, Lee was a criminal defendant and then a prisoner,
fighting to regain his freedom and redeem his life. Now, he will have a
chance to stand on the other side, and Toyota must defend itself. Given the
evidence, I don't believe this is something Toyota can do successfully."
Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP (HMG) specializes in mass torts, personal injury,
product liability, commercial and business litigation, and wrongful death. The
firm has won approximately $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for its
clients. Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP has been successfully representing
clients in the United States and Mexico since 1986.
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140320/DA87485
SOURCE Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP
Contact: Kelly McQuary, Hilliard Munoz Gonzalez LLP, 361-882-1612,
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