Bakersfield man sues Toyota over fatal crash in Pismo

A Bakersfield man has filed a wrongful death suit against Toyota, claiming his 2005 Camry malfunctioned before it went off the bluff at Pismo Beach three years ago, killing his wife.

Bulent Ezal, 75, and his 43-year-old son, Kenan Ezal of Santa Barbara, filed the lawsuit last year. A case management conference is set for Feb. 22 in Judge Martin Tangeman’s courtroom.

In the suit, the Ezals claim that Bulent was parking at Pelican Point Restaurant in Pismo Beach on Feb. 25, 2007, when the car “malfunctioned, went out of control and accelerated uncontrollably” off the bluff, careening down the side and landing 70 feet below on a rocky shoreline.

Bulent Ezal’s wife, Anne Ezal, 72, was a passenger in the Camry. She was killed in the crash.

Bulent Ezal suffered “serious emotional distress,” his Milwaukee-based attorney Donald H. Slavik said.

Slavik said his client is a retired engineer who now is a healthy, active swimmer.

Kenan Ezal wasn’t riding in the car or present at the crash, but he is a co-plaintiff in the suit who filed because of the loss and wrongful death of his parent, Slavik said.

Slavik said he is still waiting to hear a full legal defense in the case. He anticipates Toyota’s lawyers will say that his client caused the wreck.

“That’s what they always say in these kinds of cases, but the facts and evidence don’t support it,” Slavik said.

A lawsuit represents only one side of the case.

Martin Resorts, which owns Pelican Point, also is named in the suit and accused of negligence because the restaurant lacked curbs, fencing and rails around the parking lot.

Calls to lawyers representing Martin Resorts and Toyota were not returned Wednesday.