Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Toyota Recalls in the Face of Deaths and Injuries

Today, workers at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demanded documents from Toyota Motor Corp. to evaluate whether Toyota issued its recalls "in a timely manner." U.S. law requires automakers to notify the federal agency within five days of identifying a safety defect. The law also requires a prompt recall when a safety defect is identified.

It is good news that NHTSA is taking this step to evaluate Toyota's conduct. Too many people have been injured or killed in Toyota runaway vehicles (also called "sudden unintended acceleration" cases) for the federal government not to step in to enforce the law. If Toyota has violated its reporting or recall responsibilities, it can be fined millions of dollars. Such an action would provide an important safety incentive for all other manufacturers. For many years our federal agencies have been toothless and more interested in protecting corporations rather than consumer rights. Today's action is a sign that the Obama Administration is taking its responsibilities to protect consumers seriously.

The trial lawyers at Pfaff & Gill, Ltd. have been working to protect consumers from auto defects for thirty years and will gladly help any family who has been harmed by unsafe vehicles or other products.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Pfaffs Triumph in Florida Golf Event

Bruce Pfaff was able to accept a very generous invitation from his friend, Chris Pfaff (no relation), to play in the Invitational Tournament at the Country Club of Florida last weekend. In addition to having a great time in the sun, they earned a close victory over the other teams in the low handicap flight, especially Marshall Duane and his guest, J.R. List. Their victory was aided in small measure by the constant genial abuse they took from their cart-driving caddy, Chris's father, Stu Pfaff, aka "Bozie" or "the Little Squirrel." The club and its hospitality were delightful.

While Bruce was having fun on the golf course, we are overjoyed to report that the Illinois Supreme Court did exactly the right thing by holding that caps on medical malpractice damages are unconstitutional. We will gladly forward you a copy of the court's opinion in LeBron v. Gobblieb, as well as the friend of the court brief that Bruce prepared on behalf of the Illinois Trial Lawyers' Association. Call or e mail us and we will pass along the documents. This decision means that victims of medical malpractice in Illinois are entitled to recover all damages they prove to a jury-- and that the Legislature cannot limit those damages.