A multitude of class action lawsuits have been filed against Takata, a company that manufactured defective air bags. The air bags have been found to violently explode in certain conditions, which can send metal debris flying through the vehicle, causing serious injuries or deaths. According to the lawsuits, Takata as well as several automobile manufacturers have been aware of the safety defects for years, but concealed their knowledge from the public and safety regulators.
Last week, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided to consolidate all Takata airbag lawsuits that are pending. The panel found that the cases all share similar factual questions, and that to centralize the cases would eliminate a lot of duplication and would conserve the resources of the parties, the attorneys, and the courts. The cases will be transferred to a federal judge in south Florida. The order affects at least five class action lawsuits, but dozens more may be transferred. At least 100 lawsuits have been filed against Takata since November 1.
The first reported case of a Takata airbag exploding and sending shrapnel throughout the vehicle occurred in 2004. The company did not issue a recall until 2008. Some insiders at the company are alleging that Takata covered up the problems for years in order to avoid an expensive recall.
It’s unfortunate that companies will go to such lengths in order to avoid paying damages. In many cases, companies wait so long to issue recalls that many more people are killed or injured by their dangerous products. If you have been injured by a defective consumer product, call the product liability attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 888-894-0119. Our attorneys are skilled at handling product liability cases, and will be happy to talk to you about your options. Call to learn more.