The law firm of Hagens Berman LLP, from Seattle, was one of the biggest winners in the settlement regarding Toyota Motor Corp. that involved the unintentional acceleration of the vehicles, according to The Puget Sound Business Journal.
Steve Berman, the managing partner for Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, was appointed the co-lead counsel when the cases were consolidated in United States District Court in California. Berman was put in charge of class litigation and led the settlement discussions with Toyota.
Results of the investigations from NASA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no technical problems, but did determine that the cause was poorly placed floor mats to go along with malfunctioning gas pedals and driver error.
It was announced by Toyota on Wednesday that the company has agreed to pay anywhere from $1.2 and $1.4 billion to settle all of the cases. Payments will be made to vehicle owners and to install brake-override systems on over three million cars.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the involvement of the Hagens Berman Law Firm in the case. It was not disclosed how much the firm would collect in the case when the settlement was announced. As part of the settlement, Toyota is going to pay legal fees, which could total $200 million and be divided amongst 25 firms from the case.
“From the very start, this was a challenging case,” Berman said in a statement. “We brought in automotive experts, physicists and some of the world’s leading theoreticians in electrical engineering to help us understand what happened to drivers experiencing sudden acceleration. We are extraordinarily proud of how we were able to represent the interests of Toyota owners, and believe this settlement is both comprehensive in its scope and fair in compensation.”
The law firm from Seattle represents clients who are whistle-blowers, shareholders and consumers in class-action lawsuits.