A lawsuit set to go to trial in October blaming a faulty Takata airbag for the ultimate death of a Jacksonville woman was settled out of court on July 8. The settlement came after a brief meeting in the judge’s office. One of the lawyers for the family of Patricia Mincey said the settlement was reached after a day or two of contact between him and legal staff for the Honda Motor Company, Duval Motors of Jacksonville and the Takata Corporation.
The airbag exploded in Ms. Mincey’s 2001 Honda after a 2014 car accident. The meeting with the court was initially requested by Ms. Mincey’s lawyers in an attempt to seek punitive damages and require the head of Takata to testify in the case. If that had happened, it would have been the first time Takata president Shigehisa Takada would have been ordered to give sworn testimony after millions of vehicles with his company’s airbags were recalled worldwide after several deadly explosions. This settlement has delayed Mr. Takada’s having to testify under oath. However, unless there is a global settlement very soon – which is highly unlikely – Mr. Takada’s day to be put under oath will eventually come.
The suit accused Takata and American Honda Motor Co. Inc. of hiding the defect in Takata inflators that prevents air bags from deploying properly in crashes. Ms. Mincey, who was left a quadriplegic following her 2014 car accident, died from the injuries in April. The death total resulting from the defective Takata air bags is now 15.
Ms. Mincey is represented by Theodore J. Leopold and Diana L. Martin of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. The case is Patricia Mincey v. American Honda Motor Co. Inc. in the Circuit Court in the Fourth Judicial District In Duval County, Florida.
Sources: Jacksonville.com and Law360.com
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