In 2014, a woman was paralyzed when the airbags in the vehicle she was driving deployed “forcefully,” leaving her with tragic injuries. In April, she died after spending nearly two years of her life in the hospital. Last month, her lawyers reached a settlement agreement with the airbags’ manufacturer, Takata.
According to an article by Reuters, the automotive defect settlement was agreed to and confirmed by Takata Corp., although the terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Based on the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries – all four of her limbs were paralyzed – it is likely that the claim demanded compensation for not only economic damages, but a large amount of noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering and loss of quality of life, as well.
Takata’s Liability for the Woman’s Injuries
The woman who was paralyzed was Patricia Mincey. Just four days after her car’s airbags deployed, causing her devastating injuries, the vehicle was recalled. The reason for the recall: defective Takata airbags, which have caused countless injuries worldwide. In fact, the airbags have been blamed for at least 14 deaths across the globe, including 13 deaths involving Hondas, the make of vehicle that Mincey was driving at the time of injury.
Mincey’s lawsuit alleged that Takata had concealed the defect in the airbags, specifically, the airbags’ potential of “overpowered deployment,” for more than 10 years.
Are Takata Airbags Unsafe?
Takata airbags have been recalled by the millions for defects, ranging from over-deployment to actual explosion, sending metal parts through a vehicle’s interior and causing serious injuries to drivers and passengers.
In fact, the Reuters’ article shares that to date, nearly 100 million Takata airbags have been recalled. While Hondas are some of the vehicles most affected by the recall, Chrysler, Subaru, Ford, BMW, Acura, and vehicles from other makes have all been named in the recall. You can read a full list of affected vehicles, as well as view the latest Takata recall updates, on Car and Driver’s blog.
What to Do When a Vehicle Defect Leads to Injury
If your car has been named in the NHTSA Takata recall, or any other recall for that matter, it is important that you take action immediately to have the problem remedied. An unrepaired vehicle may put you at an extreme risk of injury.
If an injury does occur, you may be able to file a defective product lawsuit against Takata or the manufacturer or any other vehicle or vehicle component that is defective. Automakers have a duty to consumers to protect them from unreasonable risks of harm. When a defect causes injury, our attorneys can help you fight back.
If you think that you may have a valid claim, do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact our North Carolina product defect lawsuit attorneys online or by phone. At the offices of Riddle & Brantley, LLP, a consultation is always free.