Toyota Recall: Settlement Revealed for 2009 Death of Patrolman

Posted By The McClellan Law Firm || Dec 27, 2010

National recalls this past year have thrown Toyota Motor Corp. into the public spotlight. Many remember the fatal accident in San Diego, California, where four family members were killed: California Highway Patrolman M. Saylor, his wife, their young daughter, and Saylor's brother-in-law.

Saylor's family filed a lawsuit against Toyota, claiming that the accident occurred because of faulty accelerator pads in the vehicle that caused it to accelerate without warning. The carmaker had already settled but just last week the full amount was revealed. There had been a dispute as to whether the amount should be publicly disclosed.

Toyota had been trying to keep the number unknown to the public. Some believe it was because the company was afraid that it would set the precedent for future lawsuits against them. There have been several other fatalities linked to the sudden-acceleration problem that some Toyota vehicles were having.

As mentioned in a previous post, Toyota was accused of knowing about the acceleration problem in some of their vehicles. The design of the gas pedal caused the accelerator to sometimes stick, causing the vehicle to accelerate seemingly on its own.

Defective designs in automobiles can cause serious accidents, as the families of these victims fully understand. Shouldn't the public know about the settlement? Shouldn't they be aware of the allegations against Toyota? Could it help prevent even more injuries?

The settlement brings some comfort to the four families of the victims of the accident. But while it does financially support them, the money will never bring back their loved ones.

Blog Home


  • “Immediately after our interview we knew without question that no matter how steep the mountain, win or lose, we had found the right person—Craig McClellan, Esq.—[…] We felt a profound sense of peacefulness whenever we came into the office, and we knew that you were protecting our interests at all time.”

    - G.P.

  • “We wouldn’t be here, in this moment of life without the kindness and professionalism of you all and how you went to bat for us! Eternally grateful!”

    - A.K.

  • “I just wanted to thank you for your efforts on [Pam’s] behalf, your skills, and your heart. You are not just a lawyer in what you do, you are a master of your profession. And I hope you are passing your mastery to others who may stand in on behalf of the weak or the helpless. It is an honorable effort and a world of mercy. I saw the extreme and extended dedication you put forth yield the best possible results on [Pam’s] behalf.”

    - Juror

  • “Your appearance on the nation-wide broadcast of ‘60 Minutes’ was a public service in which all San Diego has reason to take great pride. To integrity—you have added public service and again elevated my opinion of the legal profession.”

    - Juror

  • “We do not quite know how to verbalize or show how grateful we are to have had the distinct honor to have you represent us at truly the most critical time in our lives.”

    - S.C.

View More

Our Awards & Accolades