Vegas widow sues Toyota over floor mat in crash

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The widow of a Nevada delivery driver killed in the crash of a company pickup truck last year said Monday she's suing Toyota Motor Corp., alleging that a floor mat wedged against the gas pedal caused the crash.

Kim Levine and her attorney, Gerald Gillock, told reporters they're seeking unspecified damages for Levine and her two sons, ages 13 and 6, in the crash of a 2010 Toyota Tacoma that killed 55-year-old Jeffrey Mark Levine on Dec. 17.

Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons in Torrance, Calif., called the death tragic but said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit also names Findlay Automotive Inc., a local dealer where Gillock said a technician noted he inspected the mat while changing a flat tire Nov. 16. Company owner John Barr did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Gillock dismissed the Clark County coroner's finding that "oxycodone intoxication" was a factor in Levine's death from multiple injuries. The lawyer said Levine had a longtime back injury, a prescription for the powerful pain medication, and was cleared by his doctor to drive.

Gillock called Levine's case distinct from other personal injury and wrongful death cases filed in federal courts against the automaker, and from lawsuits owners have filed because vehicle values have fallen since Toyota recalled dozens of models to fix sticky accelerators and potential floor mat problems.

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