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Settlement reached in Takata airbag death suit

A lawsuit set to go to trial in October blaming a faulty Takata airbag for the ultimate death of a Jacksonville woman was settled out of court Friday morning after a brief meeting in the judge’s office.

The attorney for the family of Patricia Mincey, who died three months ago, said the settlement officially was reached after a day or two of contact between him and legal staff for the Honda Motor Company, Duval Motors of Jacksonville and the Takata Corporation, which made the airbag they say exploded in her 2001 Honda after a 2014 car accident.

Mincey drove through a red light at about 30 miles an hour in June 2014 and crashed into another vehicle going about 20 miles an hour, according to her family. Her Honda Civic’s airbags did not deploy at first, then went off with so much force that she suffered a broken back. Four days after the original accident, Honda recalled the airbags used in her Civic.

Paralyzed from the neck down in the accident, Mincey spent the next two years as a quadriplegic. Her condition grew worse and she died April 11 in a Jacksonville rehabilitation center at the age of 77.

The Mincey family’s lawsuit claims Takata knew about the defective airbags since 2001, and that Honda learned about them in 2004. Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined Honda $70 million because it did not properly report deaths and injuries related to 1,729 cases.

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