According to an airbag failure lawsuit Ebron filed earlier this month, the North Carolina plaintiff alleges the airbag in his 2014 Chevrolet Silverado deployed without a collision initially taking place. The force of the airbag is alleged to have resulted in several broken bones to his face – and the force rendered him unconscious. His defective airbags lawsuit goes on to say that while unconscious, his foot remained on the vehicle accelerator, causing his vehicle to strike a utility pole, followed by a tree. The impact is alleged to have caused additional injuries to the plaintiff.
Another defective airbags lawsuit has been filed by plaintiff Valissa McNiel Dillard, who alleges to have suffered severe brain damage and other catastrophic injuries to her body – including the loss of an eye – when the airbag in her 2001 Honda Accord deployed with what is alleged to be excessive force.
The lawsuits are Ebron Jr. et al v. Parks Chevrolet Inc., et al. Case No. 16-cvs-6261 in the North Carolina Superior Court for Forsyth County, and Dillard, et al. v. Takata Corp. et al., Case No. 16-cvs-7925 in the North Carolina Superior Court for Guilford County.
Various other defective airbag plaintiffs have alleged similar injuries, including shrapnel from the airbag containment unit flying out and striking the driver. Some have died when side airbags, curtain airbags and defective airbags in general have deployed with excessive force, or deployed at the wrong time.
Ebron claims in his airbag recall lawsuit that both General Motors (GM) and Takata Corp. knew about issues with airbags as early as 2001, when a Takata airbag exploded in an Isuzu vehicle, or so it is alleged. Ebron further alleges in his airbag failure lawsuit that both GM and Takata actively hid the problem from both vehicle owners and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Ebron claims that a faulty Takata airbag in his 2014 Silverado served as the “direct and proximate” cause of his injuries.
There remains the suggestion of an issue, however, with the Ebron complaint. Spokespersons for both Takata and GM noted, in response to the Ebron lawsuit, that Takata does not supply the driver’s-side airbag in the 2014 Silverado – only the passenger side.
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Inflators, according to court documents, can be compromised through age and exposure to high humidity.
“The subject defect resulted in an air bag safety system that failed to prevent plaintiff’s injuries, and, in fact, caused his accident and his catastrophic injuries,” Ebron’s complaint said. “The collision with the utility pole and the tree were caused by the air bag safety system.”
The two airbag injury lawsuits seek, in combination, more than $500 million in compensation and in excess of $1 billion in punitive damages.