July 6, 2017
Three personal injury clients represented by Motley Rice and co-counsel named to Takata Bankruptcy Creditors’ Committee
The U.S. Trustee for the District of Delaware announced today that a Creditors’ Committee comprised of five personal injury claimants and two economic loss claimants has been formed in addition to a Trade and Service Creditors’ Committee to represent various groups affected by Takata Corp.’s bankruptcy filing last month. Adrian Pielago, Angelina Sujata and Danny Barnes have been named to the committee and are represented by Motley Rice and co-counsel.
Sujata has been an outspoken advocate for stricter reforms for car manufacturers since an accident involving a Takata airbag.
“The injuries I sustained changed my life forever and I want to be sure this never happens to anyone else. As a member of the Creditors’ Committee, I can help ensure that everyone is treated fairly and that our financial needs are fully considered,” Angelina said. “I will continue to use my voice and do all that I can to make sure that happens.”
The decision to grant plaintiffs’ request for a formal plaintiffs’ committee followed a creditors’ committee formation meeting held today in Wilmington, Del. A number of plaintiffs represented by Motley Rice and co-counsel spoke out at the meeting on behalf of injured consumers.
“Victims of Takata and their destructive airbags deserve to be heard and have a seat at the table alongside other creditors in order to prevent Takata and other companies from avoiding full responsibility. We thank the Assistant U. S. Trustee for the District of Delaware for recognizing the needs of the personal injury claimants by establishing the Plaintiffs’ Committee. With our experience in numerous bankruptcies, we will fight alongside them in the pursuit of justice,” said Motley Rice attorney Kevin Dean.
Following the announcement of Takata’s bankruptcy, Motley Rice quickly realized that personal injury plaintiffs were not being fairly represented and considered in the bankruptcy deal and sought to communicate with the Trustee about plaintiffs’ concerns.
Among other issues with the bankruptcy as filed, Plaintiffs are largely concerned that a $125 million personal injury fund, established as part of a $1 billion penalty to settle criminal liabilities, will not be sufficient to compensate all current and future victims injured and/or killed by Takata airbags. The restructuring of Takata’s assets must take into account the still-growing need of Takata’s many victims, plaintiffs’ said.
Takata’s exploding airbags have allegedly been linked to the deaths of at least 17 people worldwide, including 11 people in the U.S. More than 100 million vehicles worldwide have been impacted by the recalls.
Dean added, “We will continue to pursue our claims against vehicle manufacturers, while the bankruptcy and claims against Takata proceed. I believe that the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) should be held as equally liable as Takata, given the information they had and knew about these dangerous airbags, but they continued to install them in vehicles, putting drivers and passengers at risk.”
Motley Rice represents dozens of people who were harmed, and has represented the families of several people, including two Malaysian women, who died from injuries allegedly caused by the dangerous Takata airbags. Attorney Kevin Dean has been litigating these cases for nearly three years and has worked with vehicle defect experts to independently study and investigate the airbag defect.