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Welcome to the Craig P. Kenny & Associates’ client newsletter. As always, we want to be your attorneys for life. Please feel free to call us at 702-380-2800 any time for all of your legal matters.

AIRBAG CASES

By Billie-Marie Morrison, Esq.

In 2008, Takata first recalled 4,000 airbags in Honda vehicles. Since then, there have been 20 additional recalls for these dangerous airbags in just about all types of vehicles, not just Hondas.

Unfortunately, it took until May of 2016 for the federal safety regulators in three independent investigations to conclude the necessity of a larger recall and universal notification. Through this scientific research and discovery, these investigations proved that long-term exposure to changes in air temperature and moisture can make the ammonium nitrate propellant in the Takata air bags dangerously powerful. These findings sparked the federal mandate for Takata to expand its airbag recall to more than 60 MILLION air bags, which equates to approximately 1 out of every 5 vehicles on the road today.

Although Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection last summer, claims can still be made for injuries sustained from its dangerous airbags, despite whether the injured person caused the accident or not, and despite whether or not the person was the driver or a passenger in the vehicle.

Takata air bags are known to have killed at least 20 people and injured hundreds more. The exact number is not known because many of the airbag injuries go unrecognized, as these injuries are viewed merely as part of a car accident, or were sustained by the person driving the vehicle that caused the car accident, and thus the injured person does not believe there is any recovery mechanism available to them for their injures. However, this is not the case. There is still a potential cause of action for the airbag injuries, separate and distinct from the car accident injuries, no matter who caused the accident, or if the injured person was the driver or passenger.

How the dangerous airbag explosions work is this: airbags are actually filled with gas, not air. This gas is created by a burning propellant which is compressed into an aspirin-sized tablet and placed in a metal tube called an inflator. When the vehicle is involved in a crash, the tablets are ignited and converted from solid to gas, which erupts out of the inflator and into the bag in milliseconds. The difference with Takata airbags is that Takata’s propellant, ammonium nitrate, can become unstable after long-term exposure to changes in temperature and moisture. When the unstable compound ignites, it can explode with too much force and spray metal fragments directly into the driver and passengers of the car. This bomb-like explosion has caused unnecessary deaths, horrible life-altering injuries and devastation to many families. In fact, ammonium nitrate is what Timothy McVeigh used to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. Ammonia nitrate is as explosive as dynamite, and is one-tenth the price of a similar product which was previously used by Takata for its air bags known as tetrazole.

On February 22, 2018, Nevada, along with 43 US States and Territories reached a settlement with Takata over its defective airbags. The settlement consent decree is not final as it must be approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court. In February 2017, Takata also pled guilty and agreed to pay $1 BILLION in penalties for concealing airbag defects. In its plea deal, Takata admitted to hiding evidence that millions of its airbag inflators can explode with too much force, hurling lethal shrapnel into drivers and passengers. This is the largest recall in U.S. automotive history.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established the website www.safecar.gov/rs/takata for consumers to determine whether their vehicle is affected by the recall and to sign up for status updates.

If you or a loved one was injured by an airbag, please contact Attorney Billie-Marie Morrison at 702-380- 2800.

Staff Member Spotlight

Aida Muruato,

Legal Assistant

Aida Muruato was born and raised in Gualán, Zacapa in Guatemala and went to high school in Guatemala City before relocating to Las Vegas in 1999.  She would like to continue her education at the Community College of Southern Nevada when she is able.  Aida worked various jobs before a friend of hers recommended her for a job at our firm. 
 
Aida joined Craig P. Kenny & Associates in 2004 as the firm’s runner.  She eventually joined the Traffic Ticket Department and later the Criminal Defense Department and currently works in both departments.
 
In her spare time, Aida loves to spend time with her husband, daughter and son.  Aside from spending quality time with her family, she also enjoys listening to music and spending time with friends.  Aida also loves to travel to Guatemala to visit her friends and family whenever she can.
 

Products Liability Corner

The door is still open for GM ignition switch cases.  Recently the US Supreme Court denied review of a lower-court ruling allowing personal injury claims prior to GM filing for bankruptcy protection in 2009, leaving the door wide open for hundreds of previously barred ignition switch claims.  In 2014, GM recalled more than 2 million vehicles with defective ignition switches, which can slip from the run position and cause vehicles to stall and disable safety features including airbags. Any accident involving a GM vehicle should be screened for a GM ignition switch claim. 
 
According to the FDA, the diabetes medications Invokana, Invokamet, Invokamet XR increase the risk of foot and leg amputations.  Anyone taking any of these medications should notify their health care professional/medical provider if new pain or tenderness, sores, ulcers, or infections of the feet or legs occur.  Do not stop taking your diabetes medicine without first talking to your health care professional/medical provider.
 
The Bard IVC Filter is a medical device implanted in the inferior vena cava, which is a blood vessel between the heart and lungs.  The wire filter is designed to catch blood clots and prevent pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening condition that occurs when blood clots travel from the lower body to the lungs.  This device however has been linked to more than 900 reports of serious complications, including: perforation; migration to different parts of the body; fractures of the device; heart and lung injuries; and even death.  Side effects from the Bard IVC Filter include: internal bleeding or fluid build-up around the heart; infection; perforation; puncture and other serious damage to blood vessels, the heart and/or the lungs; hematoma or nerve injury at the puncture site; cardiac tamponade; a life-threatening condition involving bleeding in and around the heart; constant, severe pain in the heart, chest or elsewhere in the body; blockage of an artery in the lungs; respiratory distress or difficulty breathing; and serious death or injury.
 
There are several defective product cases such as TransVaginal Mesh, Proton Pump Inhibitors, Abilify, Talcum Powder, Xarelto, Risperdal, Hernia Mesh, Hip Replacements, and Asbestos Fibers that we are handling. Click here for more information. If you or someone you know has suffered from complications due to a defective product or prescription medication, please contact  Billie-Marie Morrison, Esq. at 702-380-2800, or email at bmorrison@cpklaw.com, for more information.
As you know, we do not advertise so we appreciate all of the referrals you send our way. Thank you for reading our newsletter! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.
 
Please remember, we do not have Saturday office hours. Our regular business hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. Nights and weekends by appointment only.
 

Sincerely,

 

     

 Craig P. Kenny, Esq.