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Lawsuit claims automakers knew of defective Takata airbags for years

Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017   

Despite knowing that Takata-manufactured airbags had the potential to violently rupture and injure vehicle occupants, at least four automakers continued to use the airbags in new vehicles to keep costs low, a new lawsuit alleges.

Up to this point, automakers had claimed that they had no knowledge of the defective airbags and had been effectively “tricked” by the manufacturer, but a new lawsuit alleges that Ford, Nissan, Toyota, and Honda all were aware of the defects according to company documents. While the accused automakers are either denying or refusing to comment at this time, the Justice Department’s probe and lawsuits like this one seek to bring the truth to light.

If the automakers were aware of the defects and pushed costs above the safety of drivers and passengers, they may be held liable for their negligent actions. The recklessness of a major corporation can have devastating effects on the public, and the attorneys of Pohl Berk, LLP are prepared to help you if you have been hurt by a defective Takata airbag. Contact us at 615-227-2765 to discuss your legal options today, and read the New York Times article here.

 


Takata Pleads Guilty to Airbag Fraud, Agrees to $1B Criminal Penalty

Posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017   

Embattled airbag manufacturer Takata agreed in early 2017 to plead guilty to wire fraud and pay $1 Billion in criminal penalties for selling defective airbags and purposely concealing testing failures from regulatory agencies and the public.

Evidence shows that the company’s airbag tests revealed repeated ammonium nitrate ruptures which resulted in a spray of shrapnel into the cab of the vehicle. After numerous consumer injuries and deaths, the company continued to conceal the data revealed in their tests.

According to ABC News, $125 million dollars of the agreed penalty payment will go to victim’s compensation, while another $25 million will go to paying the general criminal fines. Automakers who installed Takata airbags will be forced to replace them in all vehicles, so the remaining $850 million will go to those companies responsible for cleaning up the mess made by Takata.

If you own a vehicle that has a defective Takata airbag, it is essential that you pay attention to your manufacturer’s recall notices. Of the 60 million Takata airbags installed in vehicles, only 12 million have been replaced so far due to replacement shortages.

For individuals who have suffered an injury due to a defective Takata airbag, know that you do not have to suffer alone. The Takata airbag lawyers of Pohl & Berk, LLP are here to help you if you or a loved one have been injured by the negligent actions of this car company. Contact us at (615) 277-2765 to discuss your claim today.


How to know if an insurance company is acting in bad faith

Posted on Friday, January 27th, 2017   

While it can be impossible to know when your insurance company is being deceptive until you actually have to file a claim, you can look for the common signs of an insurance company that refuses to honor your policy. Bad faith practices can include:

Making multiple demands for documentation

An investigation is delayed for no valid reason

A settlement is offered too quickly

An insurer pressures you into accepting a settlement by insisting it’s the “best offer you will get”

An insurer is hard to reach or doesn’t communicate with you often

An insurer doesn’t acknowledge evidence you’ve submitted

You have a valid claim and it is denied

Your policy is unexpectedly cancelled

Dealing with insurance company disputes can be a major headache in the aftermath of an accident. If you suspect your insurance company is being deceptive, reach out to the legal team at Pohl & Berk, LLP for support in your case. Our adept insurance claims lawyers can help you obtain the coverage you deserve. Call our Tennessee offices at (615) 277-2765 to discuss your case in more detail.


Honda recalls 600K Odyssey minivans

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2017   

Automobile manufacturer Honda Motor Co. issued a recall for 633,753 of its Odyssey minivans with models ranging from 2011 to 2016 because the seats in the second row of the vehicle are prone to move at unexpected times.

The Odyssey vehicles included in the recall were manufactured between August 1, 2010 and October 1, 2015. According to Honda, the release lever for the vehicles cannot be locked, which means the seats might move unexpectedly. Apparently, the problem was identified via a warranty claim report, Honda added. There have yet to be reports of injuries or fatalities due to the malfunction. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted a story about the recall on its website on Thursday, December 29.

If a personal injury accident in Nashville or another area of Tennessee has caused you harm, it is often possible to obtain financial compensation when you seek the legal aid of our attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (615) 277-2765.


Fiat Chrysler vehicles under investigation for roll-away accidents

Posted on Wednesday, December 28th, 2016   

Earlier this month, the NHTSA began a new investigation into the electronic rotary gear shifters in Fiat Chrysler vehicles. The shifters can be found in more than one million vehicles and may have a flawed design. There have been numerous reports of cars rolling away after their drivers exited the vehicle when they believed the vehicle to be in park. In many cases, the car rolled away even when the gear was set to park.

The error is to blame in more than 25 accidents and nine injuries. Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin was killed after his 2015 Jeep Cherokee rolled backwards and pinned him to a pole in his driveway. The electronic gear shifters in question don’t actually change the gears themselves, but instead send a signal to the car to change the gear for you. This method is unlike traditional shifters, which mechanically change a gear’s configuration to the desired function. The technology has been found confusing in the past, and now there is a chance that some units are defective as well. Many people have reported their new cars are not registering being in park, despite the shifter indicating it is.

These electronic gear shifters debuted in 2013 and are used in many vehicle makes, including models from:

  • Dodge
  • Chrysler
  • Jeep
  • Jaguar
  • Land Rover

Hundreds of thousands of vehicles that use these shifters have been recalled, and this is not the first time the NHTSA has launched an investigation into them. Cars with this issue were also recalled in April of this year. Fiat Chrysler’s response has been to incorporate a failsafe, meaning some cars will automatically activate the parking brake if a door is opened while the engine is running. In some cases, they’ve tried to issue software patches to achieve the same effect.

Nevertheless, these so-called roll-away accidents remain a persistent problem that will need to be addressed. Until the results of the NHTSA investigation are released, the causes of the issues may remain unclear. The one thing that is clear is that until that point, these electronic gear shifters pose a real danger. If have been hurt because your car rolled away on its own and you believe that a faulty gear mechanism is responsible for your injury, contact the Tennessee defective car shifter attorneys of Pohl & Berk, LLP. We can help you determine the liability in your case and whether or not you are eligible for compensation. Call us at (615) 277-2765 to learn more.


Families of children killed in school bus accident limited to $750,000 or less

Posted on Saturday, December 10th, 2016   

Under the state law of Tennessee, families of the children who died in a school bus accident on Monday, November 21 can receive no more than $750,000 from the defendants. Unfortunately, 2011 amendments made to Tennessee’s tort reform law capped payouts in personal injury lawsuits against doctors and other businesses at $750,000.

That means this law is bad news for family members who will sue Warrenville-based school bus operator Durham School Services and the bus driver, Johnthony Walker, who lost control and crashed the bus into a utility pole and tree. The accident led to the death of six children, whose families can receive only that amount or less, even though the lives of children were at stake.

If you are faced with a debilitating injury due to a personal injury accident in Nashville or another area in Tennessee, enlist the legal services of our attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP. Call our offices today at (615) 277-2765 so we can help you file the appropriate lawsuit against the people responsible for your plight.


How existing Tennessee laws can be applied to latest bus accident

Posted on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016   

After a fatal bus accident in Tennessee, bus driver John Walker is facing five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving.

In Tennessee, vehicular homicide is the reckless killing while driving an automobile resulting from conduct creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person. Vehicular homicide is classified as a Class C felony, which carries with it a sentence of three to 15 years of imprisonment. However, if a driver has prior convictions for driving under the influence or vehicular assault, or if one has a BAC of .20%, the charge may increase to a Class A felony. This upgrade increases the potential sentence to a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 60 years of imprisonment. Walker is also facing reckless endangerment charges, which constitutes reckless conduct that places or has the potential to place other people in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

If you are hurt in a personal injury accident that occurred in Nashville or another area of Tennessee, press charges against the people responsible for your plight. Call our offices today at (615) 277-2765 to get the help of our attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP.


Woman dies in Lebanon two-vehicle collision

Posted on Sunday, November 20th, 2016   

A two-vehicle collision that occurred along Old Murfreesboro Road near Stumpy Lane in Lebanon, Tennessee on Monday, November 7 at around 11:30 a.m. resulted in the death of one woman.

The victim was identified as 40-year-old Stacey Slate.

According to preliminary investigations made by the police, a driver who was operating a truck owned by Nashville, Tennessee-based dairy company Purity Dairies tried to avoid the yellow Nissan Xterra sports utility vehicle that Slate was operating when she swerved into the wrong lane; however, the two vehicles still managed to collide head-on.

Slate was declared dead at the scene of the accident—the driver and the passenger of the Purity Dairies truck, on the other hand, sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene by emergency medical respondents.

The thoughts of our attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP go out to the victim and her loved ones.


Hit-and-run suspect arrested after hitting bicyclist

Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2016   

Fifty-two-year-old Ricky Escue, who allegedly hit 33-year-old bicyclist Jenn McCombs with his gold Cadillac Escalade on Friday, October 7 along 28th Avenue North in Nashville, Tennessee, was recently arrested by police authorities at the Cumberland Inn on Trinity Lane.

Preliminary investigations show that Escue was traveling at a high rate of speed when he struck the rear of McCombs’ bicycle.

According to police reports, Escue, who had four previous driving under the influence convictions, was charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, cocaine possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a revoked license. He was assigned a $12,000 bond.

A car accident victim, especially if they were only a pedestrian at the time of the accident, has been put at an inconvenience due to having an injury or illness that they otherwise would not have had. If you had been the victim of such an accident in Nashville or other areas in Tennessee, hire the legal representation of our attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP by calling our offices today at (615) 277-2765.


Death Toll for Defective Takata Airbags Reaches 14

Posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016   

Two more deaths directly linked to faulty Takata airbags have exacerbated the largest auto recall to ever transpire, with roughly 313,000 ’01–’03 Honda and Acura vehicles affected. Among the recent fatalities include a woman who succumbed to injuries sustained from a collision in Riverside County, California and a death that occurred in Malaysia. Both deaths arose from ruptured Takata airbag inflators on the driver-side. The global casualty count for Takata’s defective airbags has climbed to 14 with 11 deaths occurring in the U.S.

Nearly 100 million Takata air bag inflators have been declared to be defective. A substantial recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has led to the replacement of approximately 11.4 million airbags as of October 7, 2016, a number that makes up only 36 percent of the faulty airbags. About 70 million more airbags are expected to be recalled through 2019, encompassing the largest auto recall in U.S. history.

While 14 people have died because of the faulty airbags, more than 100 other injuries have been sustained by drivers of the affected vehicles. The disastrous amount of casualties and injuries brought on by the airbags has led Takata Corp. to suffer a dramatic financial decline along with plummeted stock prices.

Defectively manufactured products have the potential to cause significant injury to consumers worldwide. If you have been hurt by or sustained losses because of a faulty mechanism in your vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact Pohl & Berk, LLP at (615) 277-2765 to learn about how you can recover damages for your suffering.

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