Texas Jury Awards Family $242M in Lexus Crash Case

September 3, 2018

A Texas jury awarded damages of $242 million to a Dallas family after finding that defects in the family’s Lexus sedan caused injuries to their two children during a rear-end collision, the law firm representing the plaintiffs said.

The Dallas County jury award includes more than $143.6 million in punitive damages. Jurors found the actions of Lexus-maker Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Sales amounted to gross negligence, the Law Offices of Frank L. Branson said in a statement. The September 2016 collision involved the family’s 2002 Lexus ES 300 sedan. The 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter of Benjamin and Kristi Reavis were in child safety seats the back seat.

According court documents, the rear impact caused the front seats to fail and collapse back into the children’s seats and the two children suffered traumatic brain injuries that will require lifelong care. The $242 million award includes $92 million in compensatory damages for the children; and $6 million for the parents.

Toyota said it would consider its options. “While we respect the jury’s decision, we remain confident that the injuries sustained were the result of factors specific to this very severe collision, not a defect in the design or manufacturing of the 2002 Lexus ES300,” a Toyota spokesman said in an emailed statement.

The jury found Toyota Motor Corp. 90 percent responsible, and both Toyota Motor Sales and Honda Pilot driver who caused the rear-end collision 5 percent responsible. Court records show the $143,600,400 in punitive damages was apportioned as follows: Toyota Motor Corp. — $129,600,000; Toyota Motor Sales — $14,000,400.