Takata settles Florida air bag injury lawsuit

Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:47pm EDT
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawyers for a Florida woman who was left a quadriplegic after a Takata air bag inflator deployed in a 2014 crash said Friday they had settled a lawsuit against the Japanese company.

The settlement was confirmed by Takata Corp. Under the agreement to settle the case, the terms were not disclosed.

It came the same day a Florida state court judge was to hear a request to require Takata's chief executive, Shigehisa Takada, to submit to a civil deposition. As part of the settlement, the request was dropped.

Lawyers said Patricia Mincey, was severely injured after an air bag inflator forcefully deployed in her 2001 Honda Civic in a June 2014 crash. Four days after the crash, her vehicle was recalled. She died in April at age 77 after spending nearly two years in a hospital.

Takata air bag inflators have been linked to as many as 14 deaths worldwide, including 13 in Honda vehicles, because they can deploy with too much force, sending deadly metal fragments flying, the company and U.S. investigators say.

In Mincey's crash, the air bag did not rupture but forcefully deployed, her lawyers said. The lawsuit accused Takata and Honda of concealing the "potential overpowered deployment from consumers for more than a decade."

Honda settled with the Mincey family earlier this year.

The Mincey lawsuit turned up numerous disclosures about companies' handling of defective air bags.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO - Takata Corp. Chief Executive and President Shigehisa Takada bows as he leaves a news conference in Tokyo November 4, 2015.   REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo