when air bags injure or kill.
Every year, hundreds of people are exempt from death or serious injuries due to airbags that keep passengers in the car away from the dashboard, steering wheel, windshield and door during the collision.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently eased the good news. NHTSA)
It was confirmed that the airbag also caused casualties.
This article provides assistance to lawyers in determining whether the potential air isbag-
Injury claims are feasible and provide guidance on how to evaluate these claims and bring a lawsuit.
Medical literature was cited on the biomechanics of airbag injury to help point out expert opinions that are acceptable under the daubert rules of scientific evidence. (1)
According to NHTSA estimates, more than 1,750 drivers and passengers took airbags from 1986 to 1997. (2)
Rodney Slater of the United StatesS.
The Minister of Transport, refers to 13-
These airbags have saved 2,600 in the year since the announcement of airbag rules. (3)
The number of people rescued from serious injuries can only be several times that number.
In the same speech, Slater pointed out that in the United States, 87 children and adults live by air bags.
In other words, every 30 lives are saved by airbags, and one person dies from the direct result of airbag deployment.
A report prepared by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis for NHTSA in November 1997 describes cases of fatal or serious injuries that have occurred in airbag deployments since 1991.
Lawyers who assess the airbag case should obtain an updated copy of this report. (4)
The report divides the data into four aspects :(1)infants inrear-
For safety seats ,(2)
Children moving forward
For safety seats ,(3)
Adult travelers, and (4)adult drivers.
According to reports, both children and adults were killed or seriously injured during the 7-mile collision every hour.
The majority of head and neck injuries.
In the case of 65 impact speeds below 22 miles/hour, when the driver is not injured or slightly injured, the child is either dead or severely injured in the head or neck.
Adults are not much better.
The report noted that 35 adults were fatally injured in the event of an impact speed of 20 miles or less per hour.
For some time, the automotive industry has been aware that airbags have saved lives in many cases while also causing serious injuries and deaths.
For example, in Bullard v. Chrysler Corp.
Testimony from Chrysler.
Manager responsible for investigating safety defects and ensuring vehicle safety compliance.
The manager admitted that the car manufacturer was aware of the safety of the airbag and quoted \"information we already know about babies and outdoors\"of-
Positioning children for many years. \"(5)
In May 1996, in response to the growing problem of air pollution,bag-
The federal government has set up an alliance of automakers, airbag suppliers, insurance companies, security organizations, and governments to address the problem. (6)
Since the union of study federal government in November 18, 1997 set up the two
Reduce part of the airbag-
The first part is about the education program for the correct use of airbags. (7)
The second part is a new policy that allows car owners of high-risk groups to change their airbag systems by installing airbag systemsoff switch. (8)
High-risk groups include (1)
If it needs to be deactivated due to medical reasons ,(2)
Those who cannot avoid placing the rear
Front seats for child safety seats ,(3)
Those who cannot sit more than 10 inch from the steering wheel, and (4)
Those who cannot avoid the situation of children under the age of 12 sitting in the front row.
Before the car dealer is installed
Turn off the switch and need to be authorized from NHTSA. (9)
Except for the key-
The dealer also installed a warning light indicating that the airbag was \"off \".
The new rules will take effect on January 19, 1998. (10)
In the 1970 s, priority airbags were introduced as optional safety devices for passenger vehicles.
Congress acknowledged air bagscame as an amendment to the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. (11)
The Act was enacted to reduce deaths and injuries caused by traffic accidents and to reduce the number of accidents.
The Minister of Transport has the right to enact provisions to address safety issues.
This led to the development of the Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, which sets the minimum standard for the safety restraint system. (12)
The question that is then submitted to the state and federal courts is, and has always been, whether the minimum standards set by the federal government take precedence over the common law cause of action against automakers, failure to include security measures that exceed the standard for these reasons.
A saving clause in the act further complicates the issue, which states that \"compliance with motor vehicle safety standards set forth in this chapter does not exempt a person from liability in the common law. \"(13)
Case law explaining the impact of the Act on the common law claims for defect design generally deals with two priority questions: whether the language of the act is explicitly preferred to the common law, and whether there is a court-interpreted implied preemptive right based on congressional intent.
Most courts now agree that the savings clause and the language of the Act do not explicitly give priority to the common law cause of action. (14)
About implied preemptive rights, United StatesS.
The Supreme Court acknowledges that such a right of first refusal may exist (1)
\"When the scope of a law indicates that Congress intends to occupy a place in one area \"; (2)
\"When there is an actual conflict between state law and federal law \"; (3)
\"If the private party is unable to comply with the requirements of the state and Federation \"; or (4)
\"If state laws hinder the realization and realization of the entire purpose and objectives of Congress. \"(15)
However, there are still differences between federal and state courts about whether Congress will have a preemptive right when implementing the bill.
The court, which denied the common law claim, found that the bill\'s accusation of the minimum standard gave rise to a suggestion that manufacturers only need to meet these standards to put down the umbrella under the preemptive right.
Once the minimum limit is reached, there will be no consequences for the savings clause because of the \"exemption\" liability. . .
It must be accepted first. \"(16)
These courts have consistently held that the saving clause covers only claims not considered by the act, such as negligence in manufacturing or failure to include additional safety components not considered by the act. (17)
On the other hand, some courts rejected the pre-emptive argument that there was no direct conflict between the language of the Act and state rights under common law.
In support of these observations, the court has returned to the spirit and language of the Act originally envisaged, including a review of the arguments made prior to the enactment of the act. (18)
The law defines \"motor vehicle safety standards\" as \"minimum standards for the performance of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment \". \"(19)
Both the Senate and the House report on the bill states that the proposed security standard is \"not [\"to]
It is interpreted as limiting national Common law standards of care.
Therefore, compliance with these standards does not necessarily protect anyone from the product at common law. \"(20)
The court concluded that the act did not take precedence over the requirements of the state common law, noting that the minimum standards set out in the act did not provide assistance, but only one floor.
The court notes that the absence of a preemptive right does not imply any further legal obligation on the part of the manufacturer;
Manufacturers can still freely decide on safety equipment according to economic reality. (21)The U. S.
The Supreme Court has made a number of observations on the issue of the federal preemptive right, but has not yet reviewed the case of the preemptive right involving airbags.
However, the court denied the writ in the case of NewHampshire, in which the state high court dismissed the right of first refusal as a barto common law liability. (22)
Injured biomechanics in these cases, the standard defense is the argument of \"risk versus utility ---
Airbags save more lives than they do.
Another defense is to claim the damage caused by the collision, not the deployment of the airbag.
Therefore, the lawyer must first determine the specific cause of the injury.
If there are several people in a car at the time of the impact, an examination of their respective injuries may help to show how the customer was injured.
For example, while a passenger may have been seriously injured, other passengers may have only suffered minor injuries or have not suffered minor injuries.
Studies have shown that many airbags are injured when the victim is wearing a seat belt. (23)
Doctors have begun to realize that injuries in the strict sense are related to the deployment of airbags, and injuries related to accidents are separate.
There are three forms of these injuries: Bioengineering damage, burns, nerve and respiratory injury. (24)
Biomechanical injuries directly associated with airbag contact generally include injuries to the upper body, neck, head and upper limb.
The damage was caused by an impact enough to crush arib. S.
Transport of DEP\'T.
New policy on airbagsOFF SWITCHES (Nov. 18, 1997)(www. dot.
Government/Affairs/1997/nht5997. htm). (9. )Id. at 62,442 (1997)(
Will be compiled at 49 °c. F. R. [sections]595. 5(b)(1)). (10. )Id. at 62,406 (1997)(
Will be compiled at 49 °c. F. R. [sections]595). (11. )15 U. S. C. [subsections]1381-1431 (1994), (
The current version is in the United StatesS. C. [subsections]30101-30169 (1994)). (12. )49 C. F. R. [sections]571. 208 (1996). (13. )49 U. S. C. [sections]30103(e)(1994). (14. )See, e. g. , Perry v.
Mercedes of NA. , Inc. , 957 F. 2d 1257,1263-64 (5th Cir. 1992). (15. )
Freight Companyv. Myrick, 514 U. S. 280, 287 (1995)(
Omitted quotation). (16. )Harris v. Ford Motor Co. , 110 F. 3d 1410, 1415 (9th Cir. 1997). (17. )See, e. g. , id. ; Pokorny v. Ford Motor Co. , 902 F. 2d 1116,1125-26 (3d Cir. 1990); Cooper v.
General Motors, 702 So. 2d 428,441 (Miss. 1997). (18. )Munroe v. Galati, 938 P. 2d 1114 (Ariz. 1997)
, Provides a good point of view/rebuttal of arguments to support and oppose the preemptive right. (19. )49 U. S. C. [sections]30102(a)(9)1391. (20. )S. REP. NO. 89, 1301 (1966); H. R. REP. NO. 89, 1176 (1966)(
Compliance with safety standards should not be used as a defense or otherwise affect the rights of the parties under the common law, particularly those relating to warranty, contract and liability for infringement. ). (21. )Galati, 938 P. 2d 1114, 1120; Doyle v.
Volkswenwerkaktiengesellschaft, 481 S. E. 2d 518, 520-21 (Ga. 1997).
But look at Cooper 702. 2d 428, 441 (
Among them, the court specifically rejected the shareholding of a few people); Minton v. Honda of Am. Mfg. , 684 N. E. 2d 648,661 (Ohio 1997). (22. )Tebbets v. Ford Motor Co. , 665 A. 2d 345 (N. H. 1995), cert. denied, 516 U. S. 1072 (1996). (
Trial counsel for public courts have a database of studies and briefings on this issue at the organization\'s headquarters, 2000, N. W. , Ste.
600, Washington, D. C. C. ; (202)797-8600. )(23. )
National Center for Statistics and Analysis, note 4. (24. )D. P. Walters & M. R.
James, an unusual mechanism for air force injuries, 523 of 27 injuries (1996). (25. )
Mary Jumbelic suffered fatal injuries in a small traffic accident. FORENSIC SCI. 492, 493 (1995). (26. )See, e. g.
, Helmut Maxeiner & Michael Hahn, airbag-
42 J. inducing fatal cervical spine trauma
Trauma: 1148 of injury, infection and first aid (1997). (27. )See, e. g. , Celeste M. Hollands et al.
Severe head injury caused by airbag deployment, 41 J. TRAUMA 920 (1996). (28. )Richard S. Baker et al.
Torn corners caused by air
Package trauma, 121 in the morning. J.
Ophthalmology 709,711 (1996). (29. )
Jumbelic, note 25,493 before. (30. )
National Center for Statistics and Analysis, note 4; see,e. g.
Holland and others. Note 27 before. (31. )Hollands et al.
Note 27,920 before.
The speed is already 254 miles per hour. Baker et al.
Note 28,711 before. (32. )
William sprayford spoolak and George R.
Injured airbag module, Nichols, 38 J. TRAUMA 492-93 (1993). (33. )See, e. g.
Maxeiner & Hahn, note 26 before. (34. )
Chrysler admitted in its litigation testimony that it knew that the side vents caused more burns than the 12-point vents.
Testimony from William Randall EdwardsDec. 14,1995), Bullard, No.
4: 94 cv134, continue later, floor 925Supp. 1180. (35. )See, e. g. , J. D. Polk & H.
The degree of chemical burns leading to the infection of golden yellow grape, 94 J. AM.
741 (1994); BrendaSwanson-Biearman et al.
Airbag: life saving with toxic potential? 11AM. J. EMERGENCY MED. 38 (1993). (36. )Geoffrey G.
Hallock, mechanism of burns after airbag deployment, 39 ANNALS plastic surgery 111,112 (1997). (37. )
Alan Jon Montgomery and others.
, Alkaline chemical inflammation: damage to the eyes by airbags1400, 1401 (1992). (38. )See, e. g.
Kenneth gros et al. , 38 J. the mechanism of induction of asthma attacks caused by particle inhalation generated by airbag system deploymentTRAUMA 521 (1995); Kenneth B. Gross etal.
150 AM, acute lung response of asthma patients to aerosol and gas produced by airbag deployment. J.
Respiratory intensive care408 (1994). (39. )
Check the airbag crisis, causes and solutions (1997)(
Parents of airbags, 1250 24, N. W. , Ste.
300, Washington, D. C. C. 20037; (202)467-8300). The 180-
The price of the pages is $25; an 800-
Attachment costs for supporting materials are $200. (40. )
Airbag, 2 lemons 15 times (
Auto safety center 1996). (41. )
Create a better airbag and lemon twice 15 times (
Auto safety center 1996). (42. )
April morning briefcase Dallas Morning Post.
In 2D, 1997. (43. )509 U. S. 579, 593-94 (1993). (44. )78 F. 3d 524 (11th Cir. 1996)
Rev d, remand, 118Ct. 512 (1997). Steven C.
Laird is a partner of Russell, Turner, Laird and Jones in Fort Worth, Texas. Lorin M.
Subar practice in Dallas.