SANTA ANA (AP) — Dozens of personal injury lawsuits against Toyota will likely go forward if a federal judge’s tentative ruling becomes final.

U.S. District Judge James V. Selna issued the order Wednesday and was expected to make a final ruling sometime after a Thursday hearing.

Plaintiff attorney Mark Robinson says the development would be a victory for 51 plaintiffs who filed personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against the Japanese automaker.

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed since Toyota starting recalling millions of vehicles because of acceleration problems in several models and brake defects with the Prius hybrid.

Toyota said in a statement Thursday it was happy the judge will allow attorneys to depose some plaintiffs so it can learn the facts of their cases.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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