A former engineer with Takata, the company now embroiled in a recall impacting major car manufacturers including Nissan, Honda, Ford, BMW, and more, has come forward to offer whistle-blowing testimony to the United States Congress regarding the company’s fatal and negligent practices.

Mark Lillie claims that the company had been warned that the ammonium nitrate they used in their designs was unstable and would result in catastrophic failure. Takata has been criticized for continuing to use the chemical compound in replacement designs. In addition, Lillie has said that airbag inflator plants were not up to standard and were unable to properly manage the ammonium nitrate-based airbag inflator design, lacking the expertise needed to create safe products.

More than 24 million cars have been recalled in the wake of the growing number of fatalities associated with the airbags.

 

Complete list of affected vehicles:

Acura: 2002–2003 TL; 2002 CL; 2003–2006 MDX

BMW: 2000–2005 3-series sedan and wagon; 2000–2006 3-series coupe and convertible; 2001–2006 M3 coupe and convertible

Chrysler: 2004–2008 Chrysler 300; 2007–2008 Aspen

Dodge/Ram: 2003–2008 Dodge Ram 1500; 2004–2008 Ram 2500, Dakota, and Durango; 2004–2007 Charger; 2004–2008 Ram 3500 and 4500; 2008 Ram 5500

Ford: 2004–2005 Ranger; 2005–2006 GT; 2005–2008 Mustang

Honda: 2001–2007 Accord (four-cylinder); 2001–2002 Accord (V-6); 2001–2005 Civic; 2002–2006 CR-V; 2002–2004 Odyssey; 2003–2011 Element; 2003–2007 Pilot; 2006 Ridgeline

Infiniti: 2001–2004 Infiniti I30/I35; 2002–2003 Infiniti QX4; 2003–2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45; 2006 Infiniti M35/M45

Lexus: 2002–2005 SC430

Mazda: 2004–2008 Mazda 6; 2006–2007 Mazdaspeed 6; 2004–2008 Mazda RX-8; 2004–2005 MPV; 2004 B-series

Mitsubishi: 2004–2005 Lancer; 2006–2007 Raider

Nissan: 2001–2003 Maxima; 2001–2004 Pathfinder; 2002–2006 Nissan Sentra

Pontiac: 2003–2005 Vibe

Saab: 2005 9-2X

Subaru: 2003–2005 Baja, Legacy, Outback; 2004–2005 Impreza, Impreza WRX, Impreza WRX STI

Toyota: 2002–2005 Toyota Corolla and Sequoia; 2003–2005 Matrix, Tundra

 

BCCN is part of a team of attorneys investigating claims against Takata, car manufacturers and dealerships. BCCN is currently reviewing and accepting cases on a nationwide basis.

A Jefferson County Public School bus was rear-ended the morning of Friday, February 6, while transporting elementary school children to their morning bus transfer depot. Fifteen children were transported to Kosair Children’s Hospital; the bus driver and two children were taken to Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, where police say they will be kept for treatment and observation.

An 18-wheeler rear-ended the bus, pushing it into an unmarked Shively police car. The bus was carrying 36 passengers at the time. The incident occurred as all vehicles were heading south on Cane Run Road, near Clarinet.

If the initial reports are accurate, the driver of the tractor-trailer will be found at fault, and those injured in the crash will have claims against the driver and his trucking company, if any. While driver error seems the most likely cause, a full and complete investigation should be performed to determine exactly what the contributing factors were and answer all the questions those injured, and their families, will have as to why and how this incident occurred. It is always possible that a mechanical failure, defective maintenance or repair, or some other condition was the cause of the wreck. Hopefully, all of those injured make a full and speedy recovery.

The personal information of 80 million or more Americans was stolen in a data breach discovered by Anthem, the nation’s second-largest health care company. The information accessed during the hack includes names, addresses, birth dates, and social security numbers. At this time, the company is claiming no medical information was stolen in the attack. This represents the largest breach of medical privacy in the United States to date.

These types of security breaches, which have become far too common, can result in harms including identity theft, financial loss, and invasion of personal privacy. All too often, stolen personal information ends up in an underground market place for sale to unscrupulous people and companies which use and exploit it. Obviously, this can and does wreak havoc on the lives of innocent consumers. If evidence suggests Anthem failed to adequately protect its customers’ information, then their customers may have claims against them for those failures.

Bahe, Cook, Cantley and Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting cases from consumers that have been injured as a result of Anthem’s failure to protect its customers’ personal information.  We are accepting cases on a nationwide basis.

Faulty air bags currently recalled by Takata are being blamed for the death of 35 year old Carlos Solis of Houston, TX. The airbags are reportedly responsible for at least five additional fatalities.

More than 20 million vehicles have been recalled due to the airbags; companies joining in the recall include Honda, BMW, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Ford, and Chrysler.

There is every indication that this recall has been inadequate to protect the millions of drivers who are at risk of death or injury due to this faulty equipment. BCCN is part of a team of attorneys investigating claims against Takata, car manufacturers and dealerships. BCCN is currently reviewing and accepting cases on a nationwide basis.

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BCCN attorney Nathan Williams, along with The Lyon Firm, has filed a class action complaint in federal court on behalf of all Kentucky corn farmers. The complaint, filed November 26th, was brought against Syngenta Corporation for the premature release of a genetically-modified corn seed known as Agrisure Viptera.

Syngenta released the seed before it had received import approval from China, which ultimately resulted in U.S. corn being excluded from the Chinese market. The complaint alleges that domestic corn prices were negatively impacted as a result. Furthermore, it is alleged that Syngenta misrepresented the importance of the export market for corn prices with the intention of encouraging farmers to continue planting MIR 162 corn even though Syngenta knew that MIR 162 had not been approved by China.

There have been numerous lawsuits filed against Syngenta on behalf of corn farmers and other companies across the country.

Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting cases on behalf of Kentucky corn farmers that sold corn from the fall of 2013 to the present. Feel free to call and speak with one of our attorneys at (502) 587-2002.

In May 2010, chickens on the grounds of Parx racetrack outside of Philadelphia spooked the horse upon which exercise rider Mario Calderon sat.  The horse threw Mr. Calderon off and he died from the injuries he received.  A jury ordered Parx to pay $7.8 million to Mr. Calderon’s family because it found that the track should have known the chickens posed the type of danger that killed him and they allowed them to exist on their grounds.  Just recently, a Pennsylvania appellate court upheld the judgment.

What was Parx’s response?  Make sure their grounds are free from hazards and safer to the people that work and make a living there?  No.  Parx responded by attempting to force all of the jockeys riding at the track to essentially sign waivers of liability.  Parx conditioned the jockeys’ ability to ride at the track on signing the waiver.  The waiver reportedly included terms that required any claims to go through arbitration and limited the authority of an arbitrator to assess damages.  The form also would give the track the absolute ability to remove a jockey from its grounds.

As an attorney who is also a huge horse racing fan, these actions concern me.  Race tracks need take responsibility for their property.  If hazards and dangers exist on the grounds that make it unsafe to those who work or visit there, then address them.  It is pretty common knowledge that thoroughbreds can be high strung animals and prone to getting spooked.  So, why not take a look around and eliminate things that can spook horses, which can seriously injure or kill someone?  Sure, no property owner can make their place absolutely safe, but anything within reason should be done instead of just maintaining unsafe practices and trying to keep those who may get hurt because of them from holding you responsible.

These forced arbitration clauses continue to creep into many aspects of our consumer and work lives.  They show up in credit card, mobile telephone, employment and nursing home agreements or paperwork, to name a few.  They show up in places where the consumer or worker has no true and real bargaining power.  If you do not like it and do not agree to it, then you will not get the credit card, telephone, job or admission into the nursing home.  The problem comes when our courts uphold these one-sided agreements, which has happened all to frequently.  Fortunately, organizations and movements out there exist to fight these insidious clauses.  One such movement is Take Justice Back.  TJB is a pro-civil justice movement that fights the well-funded interests, such as the big businesses and industries, that want to use these clauses.  It sees forced arbitration as an avenue to keep ordinary people from holding these more powerful interests accountable in a courtroom with a jury rather than in an arbitration where the deck is stacked in favor of the company who wrote the clause.

The 7th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees us a right to a trial by jury and thereby access to the courthouse when we need it.  Let’s keep it that way.

The civil lawsuit, which began in April of 2011, involved 13 female inmates who were victimized over a two year period inside the LaRue County Detention Center (LCDC). The women, who ranged in age from mid-20s to early 50s, were each incarcerated for varying periods and lengths of time between 2008 and 2010.

The Complaint filed on behalf of the 13 Plaintiffs claimed, among other things, that while the Plaintiffs were incarcerated in the LCDC, Defendants, Travis Strader and Harold Marcum, mistreated, harassed, assaulted, forcibly raped, and forced the Plaintiffs to perform sexual acts. Claims of battery, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress were alleged against Defendants Strader and Marcum.

Bahe Cook Cantley and Nefzger’s very own Vanessa Cantley and Nathan Williams were among those representing the 13 female plaintiffs in this case. A settlement agreement was reached between all of the parties involved in May of this year, resulting in an $850,000.00 final judgment against the Defendants. Both of the Defendants also faced criminal charges in LaRue Circuit Court for their conduct.

A National Inmate Survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that from 2011 to 2012, 1.8% of jail inmates across the US were victims of sexual misconduct by jail staff (source: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri1112.pdf). In Kentucky alone, from 2011 to 2012, the percentage of prison inmates reporting sexual victimization by members of the prison staff jumps to an average of 4.3%. With a prison population of roughly 21,000 in Kentucky at the time of the survey, the results suggest that around 900 inmates reported being victims of staff sexual misconduct.

Bahe Cook Cantley and Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting more of these claims.

Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC partner Will Nefzger is handling cases involving Mavic R-Sys bicycle wheel failures.  The wheel spokes are made of carbon fiber composite.  Carbon fiber composite can and does fatigue over a relatively short period of time.  When the fatigue occurs, the spokes can and do fail.  When the spokes fail, the integrity of the entire wheel is compromised and results in its failure.  Obviously, a catastrophic wheel failure can lead to a crash and very serious injuries or death.
There are a couple of major problems with this.  First, Mavic does not warn its consumers that the spokes fatigue to the point of failure in a relatively short amount of time or give any instructions regarding changing the spokes after a certain amount of time due to fatigue.  Second, even though fatigued to the point of failure, the damage to the spokes often is undetectable.  Thus, a purchaser of the wheel has no notice of the potential problem and most likely will never be able to detect it on its own anyway.  Mavic markets and sells these wheels to casual riders, in addition to more serious riders and racers.
Will Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting these cases from consumers that have been injured as a result of the failure of a Mavic R-Sys wheel.  He is accepting cases on a nationwide basis.

GM announced yesterday that nearly 3.4 million more vehicles will be recalled in light of its review of ignition switch issues following the first set of recalls affecting 2.6 million cars earlier this year. This move brings the total number of vehicles recalled by GM this year over 20 million.

GM admitted in February that its engineers first knew of the ignition switch issues as early as 2004, leading to an investigation into the nearly 11-year delay in recalling the faulty vehicles. Less than two weeks ago, GM announced its decision to dismiss 15 employees, and to discipline 5 additional employees, in wake of the three-month investigation by former federal prosecutor Anton Valuka. While Valuka’s report did not reveal a conspiracy by the corporation to cover up relevant facts over the 11 year delay, it did point to “a pattern of incompetence and neglect” throughout the company, especially in regards to the 20 employees the report found to be the most at fault.

At least thirteen deaths have been attributed to the faulty ignition switch, which can fall out of the “run” position while the vehicle is in operation, shutting down crucial safety features such as airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has indicated that the number may, in fact, be much higher.

The company’s CEO, Mary Barra, has said that GM will voluntarily create a program to compensate those who have suffered injuries or death due to the defective cars, but she has not indicated how large that fund may be. According to GM president Dan Ammann, compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg will be in charge of determining who is eligible and to what extent. Feinberg will also be responsible for determining whether there have been more than 13 deaths caused by the defect.

GM is set to start accepting claims on August 1. Bahe, Cook, Cantley & Nefzger, PLC is currently seeking damages for a client who sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by the faulty ignition and air bag deployment. We are also currently reviewing and accepting more of these claims.

Across the country, hunters and archers continue to be injured by carbon arrows and carbon composite arrows.  According to an active case pending in the Northern District of Alabama, on September 19, 2013,  Jason Ferguson filed suit in Jackson County, Alabama due to injuries that he sustained due to a carbon fiber arrow failing.  Jason was an experienced archer with experience instructing others, who had practiced the sport for 20 years. On August 23, 2012, he purchased a set of Easton FlatLine D.O.A. carbon fiber arrows from Big Daddy’s in Bridgeport, Alabama.

A few days later, Jason went to a friend’s farm to shoot these never used arrows at a target.  His bow was approximately two years old and was in good working order.  He inspected the arrows visually and by flex testing them before using them.  Despite this, the arrow shattered upon release and punctured his left arm and wrist, causing injuries which required medical treatment in the nearby emergency room.  These injuries led to Jason suffering scarring, lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

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