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Airbag Lawsuits Allege Serious Airbag Injuries

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Orlando, FLWhen it comes to safety devices, there may be none with stakes as high as those of airbags, but allegations of airbag injuries suggest that even the commonly used safety devices may fail to work as planned. Since airbags were first used in cars, there have been claims that defective airbags caused serious injury to car passengers. Perhaps the most heartbreaking of these is allegations of harm caused when defective side airbags and children collide, often resulting in serious permanent injury and even death.

Despite their use as a safety device, lawsuits have been filed for decades alleging airbags seriously injured or killed vehicle passengers, including children. In one lawsuit, filed more than 15 years ago, the family of a five-year-old boy filed a lawsuit against General Motors, alleging a defective airbag caused the boy's death. According to the Orlando Sentinel (3/7/96), the family claims the airbag deployed while the driver of the vehicle, the boy's grandmother, was parking a car and bumped into a planter box. The side airbag reportedly deployed, twisting the young boy's head and breaking his neck.

The lawsuit alleged the airbag and the car were "unreasonably dangerous."

If adults are at risk of serious injury due to airbags deploying unnecessarily—meaning they deploy even in the absence of a serious accident—then children are at an even more serious risk. Because of the children's small size, the force with which a defective airbag deploys can cause permanent damage and even death. That is why the Centers for Disease Control recommend that children never be seated in front of an airbag.

Adults are also at risk of serious injury when an airbag deploys unnecessarily. Among injuries sustained by adults when airbags unnecessarily deploy are head and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries and injuries to the hands and arms, especially in the case of drivers' side airbags deploying (where the driver's hands are on the steering wheel and therefore closest to the deployed airbag).

In January 2012, a lawsuit was filed against Honda, alleging a defective airbag in a Honda Accord took the life of a young mother. According to NBC News 12 (1/31/12), the airbag unnecessarily deployed after the Honda Accord had a minor fender bender with a mail truck on Christmas Eve in 2009. The airbag "exploded" and caused a laceration in the victim's neck, severing her artery. The NBC News report notes that some Honda's allegedly deploy too forcefully, causing the steering wheel to explode and sending metal fragments flying into the cabin of the vehicle.

Guddi Ratore's family filed a lawsuit seeking $75 million from Honda. The lawsuit alleges that Honda knew about problems with some Accord airbags but failed to take appropriate action to warn consumers or to remove the defective airbags.

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READER COMMENTS

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My daughter was a passenger in my uncles 2002 Honda Accord. When the car hydroplane and was struck by another vehicle. My daughter died of severe head trauma that was caused during the car wreck.11 days later my uncle passed away. Their was also 3 more passengers in the car that sustained injuries . Honda denied anything was wrong with the vehicle but I received notice that a recall was done on this vehicle. Can this matter be looked into.

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