Howd & Ludorf, LLC, Wins Appeal in Toyota Fatal Accident Case
Howd & Ludorf, LLC, partners John Bogdanski and Mark Claflin, and Associate Kevin Hadfield, won summary judgment in a case involving a claim that a frontal airbag failed to deploy, captioned Koutsoukos v. Toyota Motor Sales. Plaintiff had brought suit pursuant to the Connecticut Product Liability Act, after a 2006 Toyota Scion tC his daughter was operating left the roadway while taking an exit on the Merritt Parkway in Trumbull. The vehicle skidded sideways, eventually hitting a rock with its rear portion, and resulting in the ejection of the driver, who suffered fatal injuries. Attorneys Bogdanski, Claflin and Hadfield secured expert testimony that the frontal airbags would not be expected to deploy given the mechanism of the off-road collision, thus, no malfunction was at hand. The Trial Court agreed, and granted summary judgment in favor of Toyota. Plaintiff appealed, and the Connecticut Appellate Court has now affirmed the summary judgment in favor of Toyota. The Appellate Court noted that the issue of whether a vehicle airbag should have deployed is a matter for expert testimony, and the Plaintiff was not able to produce credible expert testimony to rebut the defense expertís opinion that this was not a collision where frontal airbags should have deployed.