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Auto Defects: Honda to Pay $55M Seat Belt Injury Verdict, Faulty Air Bags Cause Recall of More Than 10 Million Vehicles

A jury has ordered Honda Motor Co. to pay $55.3 million to a man who is now paralyzed. Carlos Martinez, 57, contended that a faulty seat belt design in his Acura Integra led to his spinal cord injuries.

The seat belt defect-related accident occurred in 2010. One of the tires on his car blew out, causing him to lose control of the auto, which then rolled over. According to his auto defect lawyer, that is when the seat belt failed to keep Martinez’s head from striking the roof of the vehicle.

Martinez, who has four children and was formerly a construction worker, is permanently paralyzed from the chest down. The damages he was awarded include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, future medical costs, and loss of earnings.

A spokesperson for Acura, which is a Honda division, maintains that there was nothing wrong with the design of the safety belt. The automaker intends to appeal the verdict.
In other auto defects news, General Motors has announced another six safety recalls affecting over 7.5 million autos in the U.S alone.

So far this year, GM has recalled over 28 million vehicles involving different product defects, including ignition switch problems and air bag malfunctions and defects. Already, numerous auto defects cases have resulted, some claiming wrongful death. There is even a report of one personal injury case that blames a faulty air bag in a GM Chevrolet Cruze sedan for rendering one passenger blind.

The plaintiff, Brandi Owens, says that the air bag on the driver side was “defective and unreasonably dangerous.” The safety device was made by Takata Corp. BMW, Toyota, Nissan Honda, Ford, Mazda, and Chrysler are among the other companies to recall millions of their autos because of potentially faulty Takata-made airbags.

At Altman & Altman, LLP, our Boston auto defects lawyers represent victims and their families against auto manufacturers, tire companies, air bag manufacturers, and other parties responsible for catastrophic crashes involving defective motor vehicle parts. We are here to make sure our clients get the compensation they are owed. We protect their civil rights.

G.M. Halts Sale of Cruze Sedan Over Takata Air Bags, Ny Times, June 26, 2014

Jury issues $55M verdict against Honda, USA Today/AP, June 27, 2014

Exclusive: Air bag accident, lawsuit led to GM Cruze recall, Reuters, June 27, 2014

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General Motors Expands Recall; 7.55 Million More Vehicles Recalled, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, June 30, 2014

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$100M NuvaRing Injury Settlement Now Final, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, June 29, 2014