Airbags, when designed correctly and working as intended, save lives. In fact, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), airbags have saved approximately 35,000 lives since 1987. But when airbags are defectively designed, they create a high risk of severe injury and death to vehicle occupants. As of 2009, according to reports, defective airbags were responsible for 296 deaths, 59 life-threatening injuries, and countless severe injuries. Injury and death due to defective airbags can be caused when one of the following occurs:
Last year, Takata, a major airbag manufacturer for Honda and Nissan, ordered the largest airbag-related recall in history due to a rash of injuries and two deaths caused from its highly explosive airbags. Takata has since admitted that it did not properly store the chemicals used to inflate the airbags, defectively manufactured the explosives used for inflation, and did not adequately maintain quality-control records. Overall, Takata’s highly explosive airbags resulted in the recall of 6.5 million cars.
Lawyers in our firm’s Personal Injury/Products Liability Section have handled two cases recently involving aggressive airbag deployments causing facial disfigurement and blindness. In one case, our client was the front-seat passenger of a 1997 Ford Contour when the airbag deployed in a low-speed collision well below the inflation threshold. This explosive airbag inflation caused our client to suffer blindness, severe damages to her forehead and right eye, and loss of consciousness. We were able to successfully settle that case for the client. Chris Glover was the lead lawyer in the case. Greg Allen also helped with this case.
In another on-going case, our client was the front seat passenger of a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse when the airbag deployment propelled the sun visor into her face, resulting in the removal of our client’s right eye. We are preparing this case for trial and believe that a jury will consider the facts of the case and will find in our client’s favor. Chris Glover is also the lead lawyer in that case.
If you have any questions regarding aggressive airbag inflations or any other airbag issue, contact Cole Portis, who heads up our firm’s Personal Injury/Products Liability Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Cole.Portis@beasleyallen.com.
Source: Automotive News
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