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Jury awards woman $12 million in Toyota injury lawsuit

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MONTEREY, Calif. » A jury has awarded $12 million to a California woman who blamed Toyota for leaving her a paraplegic after a crash.

The Superior Court panel in Monterey awarded the money last Friday to Chelsie Hill of Pacific Grove and found Toyota 90 percent liable for her injuries.

Hill was a rear passenger in a Toyota 4Runner — driven by a drunken teenager — that crashed in Monterey in 2010.

Spinal injuries left her unable to walk.

Other passengers wore 3-point lap-shoulder seatbelts and received minor injuries but Hill’s seat had only a lap belt. Hill argued that she jackknifed over the belt and Toyota knew the device was dangerous.

A Toyota statement says the company is confident that Hill’s injuries weren’t the result of any car defect.

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