Will Airbag Victims Be Compensated If Takata Goes Bankrupt?

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — South Florida resident Jerry Adler required surgery to repair a broken wrist he blames on a faulty airbag in his 2005 Honda Accord.

He claims the Takata airbag deployed with too much force in a 2011 crash. Adler is suing Takata, but now thinks the Japanese company is trying to pull a fast one.

“They shouldn’t be hiding behind our laws that protect them if they file for bankruptcy,” says Adler.

Takata is likely to seek bankruptcy protection in the coming days in a deal that would sell its assets to competitor Key Safety Systems Inc.

So how will people like Jerry Adler get paid?

“One of the beautiful things about Florida, we can also sue the automakers for the full value of these claims,” says Adler’s attorney Jason Turchin who represents faulty airbag victims in South Florida.

Aside from Takata, he’s filed a lawsuit against Honda. Turchin believes the automakers will ultimately need to pay if Takata files bankruptcy.

“One of the unfortunate things here, though, is essentially automakers become victims, as well,” says Turchin.

Takata is blamed for more than 180 injuries and 11 deaths in the U.S. In February, the company pleaded guilty to fraud.

As for the automakers, some are attempting to deflect blame, saying they were lied to by Takata. But Turchin says victims shouldn’t worry.

“I would tell them to hang tight,” says Turchin. “Let the system work.”

More from Eugene Ramirez
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