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February 11, 2010 4:18 PM

Northeastern Profs Leads Race to Toyota Courthouse

Posted by Zach Lowe

The proverbial race to the Toyota courthouse is on, and a consumer rights lawyer turned Northeastern University School of Law professor is leading the plaintiff caravan, according to this Boston Globe story. That would be P. Tim Howard, a professor who is now the coordinator of something called Attorneys Toyota Action Consortium, an umbrella group of attorneys from two dozen firms in 16 states (and counting) that's preparing a monster class action against Toyota. 

The group will ask a federal judge for permission to consolidate its cases into one class action at a hearing on March 25 in San Diego, Howard told the Globe. Another Northeastern professor, Richard Daynard, who runs the university's Public Health Advocacy Institute, is among the consortium's top lawyers, the Globe reports.

The would-be class action would be filed on behalf of Toyota owners who claim the scandal involving faulty accelerators--and the recall of about 8 million cars worldwide that has followed--has caused a drop in the resale value of their cars. Leading value trackers, such as the Kelley Blue Book folks, already have downgraded the resale value of most Toyota models by about 3.5 percent. Those values will continue to drop, Howard told the Globe. As we wrote last week, Alston & Bird and King & Spalding have been Toyota's go-to firms for major pieces of litigation over the last two years, with Alston recently overtaking King & Spalding as the company's preferred counsel. 

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