Jury awards $15.7M to Phila. woman, family

Posted: March 22, 2013

A Philadelphia physician, Noreen Lewis, was awarded $11.4 million by a Philadelphia jury against Central City Toyota for alleged mechanical failure of a rented 2006 Toyota minivan in which the doctor was injured in an accident.

The jury awarded an additional $4.3 million to five members of Lewis' family who were passengers when the vehicle's ball joint mechanically failed and rolled down a ravine in New York State on March 8, 2008, said Lewis' attorney Thomas J. Duffy.

Lewis, of the 1200 block of Poplar Street, rented the minivan from PhillyCarShare, a car-sharing organization, which was not found liable or negligent. The van was inspected by Central City Toyota on Dec. 3, 2007. Lewis suffered nerve injury to her left arm, neck and back, Duffy said. The jury deliberated for a day and a half after a nearly five-week trial.

The family was traveling on Route 17 between Hancock and Binghamton, N.Y., when the steering locked, and the car went off the road and down a hill, Duffy said. Between the dealer service and the accident, the van had been driven 6,328 miles.

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