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L.A. Jury Returns Defense Verdict in Isuzu Rodeo Case; No Defect Found in Stability or Roof Strength of Isuzu SUV
LOS ANGELES, CA - On Dec. 16, 2002, a jury in downtown Los Angeles found no defect in the stability or roof structure of the 1991 Isuzu Rodeo sport utility vehicle (SUV). Ending the 26-day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict for Isuzu following three-and-a-half hours of deliberation (10-2).
Plaintiff Elpidia Toledo was injured in a single vehicle, on-road rollover January 2, 1999, on State Route 86 near Salton Sea, CA. Toledo lost control of her SUV, rolling the vehicle five times, and her left arm was amputated as a result of her injuries. Plaintiff's attorney Michael Piuze alleged the Rodeo had defective rollover resistance because the crash occurred on the road. They also claimed the roof structure failed to protect her from partial ejection, resulting in the arm injury.
Isuzu contended the Rodeo had excellent rollover resistance and roof design, and the plaintiff's injuries were a result of her negligent driving causing the vehicle to go out of control.
Plaintiff's attorney had asked the jury for a multi-million dollar award.
Attorneys for the Defense: Vincent Galvin, Jr. and Mark V. Berry of the San Jose and Los Angeles offices of Bowman and Brooke LLP.
Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Michael J. Piuze of Law Offices of Michael J. Piuze, Los Angeles, CA.