Toyota seeks removal of airbag lawsuit to Montgomery Co.

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 12, 2013, 8:06pm

GALVESTON - An automaker being sued by a Montgomery County man for an allegedly defective airbag asserts that Galveston County is not qualified to handle the case.

In a motion to transfer venue filed July 26, Toyota requests that J. William Soderman's lawsuit be removed to his county.

Soderman claims in a late June suit that he was a passenger in his 2010 Lexus on June 22, 2012, when Jamaica Beach local Jillian Dougherty reportedly hit the vehicle with hers.

The suit further shows that the complainant's airbag did not deploy as it “erroneously indicated that no one was in the seat,” adding the Lexas was "defectively designed so as to render them unreasonably dangerous to users."

The purported collision left Soderman with a brain injury, according to the original petition.

Meanwhile, Dougherty is also being sued on grounds her negligence caused the subject event that is the focus of the litigation.

Toyota argues that the accident in question did not occur in Galveston County but in Montgomery County, citing a Texas peace officer's crash report.

It additionally calls Dougherty's residence into question.

Attorney J. Karl Viehman of Bowman and Brooke LLP in Dallas is representing the respondent.

Case No. 13-CV-841

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