If you have been injured by a Takata airbag rupture, it can be hard to figure out what types of compensation are available to you as there are a few compensation funds working in tandem. The courts have appointed Eric Green as the Special Master for all of the funds. Below is a brief description of each.
The individual Restitution Fund (IRF) was set up following Takata’s settlement of a criminal case filed by the with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Eastern District of Michigan. Takata acknowledged that it manipulated test results to hide ruptures that occurred in its testing and agreed to pay a $1 billion fine, of which $125 million went into the Individual Restitution Fund (IRF). The IRF is designed to compensate people who suffer personal injury or the wrongful death of a loved one because their airbag inflator ruptured or the airbag deployed too aggressively – injuries from other causes are not compensable under this fund. Green is responsible for reviewing applications and documentation to determine whether an applicant is entitled to compensation and in what amount based on specific injury categories.
The TATCTF was established as part of Takata’s bankruptcy plan of reorganization. It too compensates individuals who have been injured or lost a loved one because an airbag inflator ruptured or an airbag deployed aggressively. The difference is that the pool of money comes from the bankruptcy funds rather than the fund set up in the DOJ agreement. This fund is expected to have about $250 million available. Applicants can apply for both the IRF and TATCTF in one form. Applicants are eligible for compensation under both funds.
All rupture-related claims involving a Honda or Acura vehicle will be automatically transferred, or channeled, into a separate compensation process. A POEM claim is the only claim available for incidents involving Honda or Acura vehicles – even lawsuits will be channeled into this system. Honda has assigned compensation values to specific types of injuries, with no consideration given to Honda’s alleged negligent actions.
There are deadlines by which you must file your claim, and there are a myriad of documents required. The Special Master recommends that you consult a lawyer to help you determine whether to file a claim and what type of claim to file, as well as how to answer some of the more complex legal questions. The Takata airbag personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Newsome Melton can answer your questions about the claims process and evaluate whether you might be eligible for compensation. Please call us at 888-808-5977 for a free consultation.