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Takata Airbags Cause Numerous Injuries


The Takata airbag recall is the largest in the history of the car industry. Over half a decade of recalls, dozens of people were killed and many more were injured by faulty airbags.

Takata and almost 20 different automakers recalled vehicles to replace driver’s side or passenger’s side airbags, reported Consumer Reports.

These defects resulted in lawsuits brought against carmakers and the Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata.

Takata put these airbags in cars from model year 2002 through 2015. Some of those airbags exploded without warning. They injured and even killed occupants.

If you or a family member has been hurt in a Takata airbag accident, please call our experienced trial lawyers today.

What is the Cause of Takata Airbag Accidents? 

The cause of the Takata airbag explosions is their inflator, a metal cartridge containing propellant.

In some cases, the metal in the inflator has ruptured, sending fast-moving shards into the faces and bodies of drivers and passengers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration traced the problem to ammonium nitrate-based propellant without a chemical drying agent in the component. Airbags are more likely to explode in humid weather.

How Serious are the Dangers of Takata Airbags? 

To date, exploding Takata airbags caused 16 deaths in the U.S. The federal government links at least 24 deaths and 300 injuries worldwide to defective airbags worldwide.

A staggering 50 million airbags are under recall, affecting about 37 million vehicles, according to the NHTSA.

The size of the recall means many car owners may wait months or even years for their car’s airbag to be recalled.

The nature of the defect means that accidents do not have to be severe for drivers or passengers to suffer severe or fatal injuries. On many occasions, the airbags deploy in a fender bender, severely injuring drivers and their passengers.

Not all of the victims have been drivers or passengers. In 2016, Ramon Kuffo was using a hammer to work on the interior of a 2001 Honda Accord. The Takata airbag deployed and the airbag’s mechanism shattered. Honda told the media that fragments of the shattered inflator likely caused the man’s death.

Lawsuits Are Filed Over Takata Injuries and Deaths 

As the toll of deaths and injuries related to faulty Takata airbags mounted, so too has the number of lawsuits.

A class-action lawsuit filed in Florida claimed Honda, Ford, Nissan, and Toyota manipulated their safety data to conceal this deadly defect.

Takata sent up a trust fund for current and future personal injury victims who were hurt by its airbags in 2018. The details can be accessed via Takata’s website. 

Takata advises claimants to consult an attorney in cases involving complicated injuries.

A fund was also set up by the automaker Honda. The automaker will pay 100 percent of compensatory damages for current and future injury claimants without placing the fault on Takata. 

Why Recalls are Prioritized by Humidity 

Given the size of the recall, NHTSA prioritized action based on the humidity of the area car owners live in. Airbags are more likely to be triggered in the humid conditions associated with the southern states.

The highest priority zone A includes the hot and humid states and U.S. dependencies of Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, California, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Virginia is included in Zone B. This is a less hot and humid designation, which includes Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

The least hot and humid states are in the North East, the Mid West, and North West.

What Should You Do If You Were Injured by a Takata Airbag? 

Airbags are meant to protect motorist. It’s tragic that so many people have been killed and injured by a device that’s meant to save their life in an accident. The auto industry has been hit by a series of recall scandals in recent years. None of them are bigger than the Takata recall.

If you or a family member has been hurt by a defective device such as an airbag, you should consult an injury lawyer. Although many carmakers and companies like Takata have set up compensation funds, these are often complicated cases. Talk to a lawyer initially if possible. The Smith Law Center has been fighting for the rights of the injured for decades. Please call us at (757) 244-7000.

 

 

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If you or a relative had a severe reaction to military housing mold, it might be time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Mold is everywhere, and can be dangerous. Researchers have linked mold to serious respiratory illnesses in some individuals.

Smith Law Center may be able to help if a property owner failed to keep you safe from mold in your military housing. We are one of Virginia’s oldest and most successful firms. We know how to hold negligent property owners responsible, especially when the military is involved.

Call us at (757) 244-700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. There’s no fee for learning more about Virginia mold laws, your rights, and your legal options.

Mold in Military Housing

Black mold in military housing became widely known when Reuters published an investigation in 2018. Since then, the Department of Defense and the housing providers were supposed to take steps to improve the situation.

Unfortunately, a 2020 audit by the DoD Office of Inspector General found many issues, including the need for mold remediation, still persist.

Monetary Awards in Military Housing Toxic Mold Cases

If the property owner lets toxic mold run wild and continue to cause you harm, talk with our toxic mold attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

You may receive financial compensation for:

Service members and their families do not receive different types of damages than civilians. These are civil lawsuits in traditional courts of law.

Military Housing Mold Toxicity Symptoms

The Institute of Medicine discovered there was evidence connecting exposure to indoor mold with:

  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms;
  • Coughing;
  • Wheezing;
  • Asthma symptoms in individuals with asthma; and
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals with weak immune systems.

There is also limited evidence that mold causes respiratory illnesses in healthy children or causes people to develop asthma.

Understanding Exposure to Toxic Mold in Military Housing

The topic of toxic mold is complicated. This Is in part because the term “toxic mold” isn’t accurate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains mold isn’t toxic or poisonous. However, some molds are toxigenic, which means they produce toxins called mycotoxins.

Mold is common in military housing because it’ll grow anywhere there’s moisture. That includes on and inside walls, carpet, upholstery, wallpaper, and heating and air conditioning systems. This is especially pronounced in humid conditions such as those present in Virginia.

Some people have no difficulties around mold, even large infestations in their homes. Other individuals are sensitive to molds, including those that produce mycotoxins. Someone can have a severe reaction when exposed to a large amount of mold indoors.

People may be more likely to experience mold toxicity symptoms if they have:

  • Allergies,
  • An underlying lung disease,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,
  • Asthma, or
  • Another chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Military Housing Mold

When you’re trying to learn more from the CDC and other resources, you’ll see the word “fungus” a lot. Mold is a type of fungus, which is something that exists all around us. Fungi are living organisms different from animals, plants, and bacteria. There are over 200,000 types of fungi and over 100,000 types of molds.

If you discovered mold in your military housing, it could be Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus, or many other types. Stachybotrys is what everyone knows as black mold. Aspergillus is a common indoor fungus, which releases mycotoxins and can cause illness. Your symptoms may resemble common allergy or asthma symptoms.

Who is Liable for Military Housing Mold?

Since 1996, most military housing has come under the management of private companies:

  • Belfour Beatty Communities: Fort Eustis and Fort Story/li>
  • Lincoln Military Housing: Dahlgren, Little Creek, Naval Station Norfolk, Northwest Annex, Oceana, Portsmouth, Quantico, and Yorktown/li>
  • Hunt Military Communities: Fort Lee and Langley AFB

Outside of Virginia, Lendlease and Corvias Military Living are two more housing providers. Together, these five companies formed the Military Housing Association.

Military families living in on-base housing must take their complaints to their private management company — not the military. The company is responsible for providing habitable conditions and making repairs, including mold remediation.

If you’re unsure about your rights, review your state law and local ordinances about mold. In general, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable unit, which means it has to be safe to live in. A unit isn’t safe if it’s causing a tenant health issues due to mold.

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to disclose if there’s mold in the written report of the move-in inspection. If a tenant discovers visible mold in the unit, then the Act requires the landlord to remove the mold and relocate the tenant until it’s gone at no additional cost to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many families find their housing providers aren’t receptive to complaints. Attorney Stephen M. Smith has handled many mold lawsuits against military housing providers who fail to abide by their lease terms and the law when it comes to mold remediation and other hazards.

Other Hazards in Military Housing

Many service members and their families deal with uncomfortable, if not hazardous, conditions in privatized military housing, including:

Lead Paint: Lead-based paint can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Asbestos: Exposure to asbestos harms a person’s lungs, and can lead to lung fibrosis (scarring), lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It naturally forms underground, however cracks and gaps in buildings lead to over-exposure indoors.

Poor Water Quality: Dozens of military sites have water with detectable levels of harmful chemicals.

Other issues involve rodent or insect infestations, pesticides, and faulty electrical wiring.

What Happens When a Lot of People Get Sick?

Sometimes mold exposure impacts a single individual or family. However, when the mold spreads throughout military housing, it can impact hundreds or thousands of people.

Occasionally, a large enough group of people are injured to allow for a class action or mass tort lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is one where a class representative acts as the plaintiff on behalf of the group of hurt individuals. Not every victim participates in the lawsuit. There are rules about when a group is big and similar enough to create a class action.

Mass tort lawsuits are different. When there are fewer plaintiffs who have their own set of circumstances, each person files a lawsuit. For efficiency’s sake, one or a couple of law firms may represent most plaintiffs, and the lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court.

Call the Military Housing Mold Lawyers at Smith Law Center for Help Right Away

Mold cases come about in a few ways. You or a loved one may start getting sick, and after weeks or months of struggling to find answers, you finally realize your military housing has a mold infestation. In other cases, you struggle with visible mold and then become ill.

Once you connect the illness with the mold, it’s time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Reaching out to an attorney early helps you build a strong compensation claim. We know how to collect evidence, identify who is liable, and craft a successful argument for a settlement or court award.

Attorney Stephen M. Smith has decades of experience handling injury claims and has been internationally recognized for his work. He has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries and complex legal and scientific issues. In 2019, he was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

You’re in good hands when you come to Smith Law Center for help. Reach out online or call (757) 244-7000 to schedule your 100% free consultation.

Military Housing Mold Lawsuits: FAQs

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