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Defective Airbags Lawsuit Plaintiff Has Died


A Florida Plaintiff at the center of a lawsuit over defective airbags has died less than two years after the car crash that left her a quadriplegic.

A Florida woman’s family is suing Honda Motor Company, Duval Motors of Jacksonville and the manufacturer of the defective airbags they say exploded with such force that it broke her back.

Attorneys for the woman’s family have said that while conducting depositions of top officials involved with the airbag’s creators, Takata Corp., they discovered overwhelming evidence that Takata falsified test results but never informed Honda or other automobile manufacturers.

The lawsuit claims Takata knew about the defective airbags since 2001 and that Honda learned about them in 2004.

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined Honda $70 million because it did not properly report deaths and injuries related to 1,729 cases.

A Palm Beach Gardens attorney who works for the Washington D.C. law firm handling the case, said her passing makes 11 deaths that he knows to be caused by exploding airbags in Hondas. Last week a teenager in Texas died as a result of a defective airbags, the attorney said.

“Takata knew that millions of vehicles would be driven with defective airbag inflators and vehicle occupants would be killed or, like the plaintiff, seriously injured. The only thing the company did not know was the names of the people who would be killed or injured and the date those incidents would occur,” the attorney for the plaintiff said in a statement announcing that his client had died.

The firm representing the plaintiff said that on Wednesday it filed a motion to substitute her daughter, as the personal representative of her mother’s estate.

The plaintiff’s death now gives her daughter a chance to be the voice for her mother. After the crash, the plaintiff could no longer talk because of the ventilator she needed to breathe.

“The daughter is now going to be able to express all the things that her mother could not express: The horrible pain and suffering she experienced, because it is now her claim because she witnessed her mother whittle away to nothing,” the attorney said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “She witnessed her mother — who was vibrant and young for her age — become nothing. She couldn’t talk. She couldn’t breath on her own. She couldn’t move. She had to be taken care of like a three-week-old.”

In 2014, the plaintiff was leaving a church function and went through a red light at about 30 miles an hour and crashed her car into another vehicle travelling about 20 miles an hour.

The airbags did not deploy at first, but when they did, they did so at such force that she suffered a broken back.

Four days after the crash, Honda recalled the airbags used in her Honda Civic.

Instead of gaining strength and skills over the years to live life without the use of her arms and legs, her condition grew worse.

She died on Monday in a Florida rehabilitation center at the age of 77.

The trial is scheduled for August 15 in Duval County, Florida.

If you or a loved one have been injured by Takata Airbags, or from an automobile accident of any kind, contact the Attorneys at Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. by going to their website or calling them at 601-948-8005. There is no fee to discuss your potential case. Schedule your free consultation now.

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