• Kyodo


The Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously upheld a $7.6 million damages award against Toyota Motor Corp. for the defective design of its 4-Runner sports utility vehicle.

The award, granted by a Multnomah Circuit Court jury, goes to Linda McCathern, 43, who claimed the SUV’s faulty design caused her vehicle to roll over in a 1995 accident, leaving her paralyzed from the neck down.

The jury awarded $5.4 million in economic damages and $2.25 million in noneconomic damages for pain and suffering.

Toyota said in a statement that it is disappointed with the ruling and “regrets that it was unable to effectively communicate to the jury the truly safe design and lack of defects in this vehicle.”

“Toyota remains committed to providing safe and high quality products to its customers,” the company added.

Toyota had sought to reduce the award on the grounds that Oregon law limited damages for pain and suffering to $500,000.

The state Supreme Court later lifted that cap.

The Toyota 4-Runner, one of the most popular SUVs in the United States, is sold as the Hi-Lux Surf in Japan.

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