has been granted the ability to gather financial data on 81 plaintiffs filing lawsuits
against the automaker over losses associated with claims of unintended acceleration
. According to The Salt Lake Tribune
, two private judges ruled that the automaker could, in fact, secure information from banks, lending and insurance
institutions. Lawyers working for Toyota
have argued that since the cases deal directly with the value of the plaintiffs' vehicles, the company is entitled to know just how much the cars were worth to begin with. In fact, most of the information has already been accumulated by Toyota, and the plaintiff's privacy is protected by a special court order.
Lawyers representing the plaintiffs, meanwhile, say that the financial information is irrelevant and "highly personal." Furthermore, there's some concern that private information like social security numbers and health history may be needlessly revealed during court proceedings. That argument apparently didn't stand up in front of the court.
[Source: The Salt Lake Tribune