Mr. Berman, 58 years old, in an interview this week, said the case against Toyota had several challenges, particularly after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration could find no evidence of electrical glitches in Toyota’s throttle control system.
The lack of merit to the case unfortunately no deterrent to the attorneys’ fee award. On the contrary, I believe it may be one of the factors that can be used to support enhancement of an award of fees under the rubric of “risk.” This was a risky plaintiffs’ case into which the attorneys devoted their resources. The Journal touches on it at the end of its sidebar:
Given the risks and expense of dragging the case to its jury trial conclusion, however, it made sense for both sides to settle it, [Berman] said.
“After two years of intense work, including deposing hundreds of engineers, poring over thousands of documents and examining millions of lines of software code, we are pleased that Toyota has agreed to a settlement that was both extraordinarily hard-fought and is exceptionally far-reaching,” Mr. Berman said in a statement.
The practice of law in America has become largely the practice of extortion. Which figures, given that the nation is ruled by lawyers bent on looting the nation of anything of value they can get their greasy, greedy hands on.