Florida Couple and Attorney Honored for Fighting to Hold Takata Corporation Accountable
Washington, DC—Corey and Kaylee Burdick of Eustis, Fla. and their attorney Richard Newsome, senior partner with the Newsome Melton Law Firm in Orlando, were presented with the 2015 Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award today by the American Association for Justice (AAJ). The award recognizes individuals and their attorneys whose cases help tell the story of the American civil justice system.
Corey Burdick, of Eustis, Florida, was in a slow-speed fender-bender while he was driving to work last year. Neither he nor the other driver was severely injured by the crash itself, but when Burdick’s Takata airbag deployed, a shard of metal flew out and struck his right eye. He was blinded in that eye and his face was permanently scarred.
Ten different auto manufacturers have recalled millions of Takata air bags because they may explode—even in low-impact crashes—ejecting shrapnel-like material and turning a crucial safety device into a deadly weapon. At least seven people have been killed by the defect.
Newsome is representing Burdick and six other individuals who have been injured by faulty airbags made by Takata Corporation.
“Takata’s behavior was reckless and shameful. Worse, it resulted in injuries and deaths. We honor Corey Burdick and Richard Newsome for their courage in exposing Takata and holding it accountable,” said AAJ President Larry Tawwater.
The first reported incident was more than a decade ago, in 2004, and the first recall was in 2008. Yet Takata did not act to protect the public. Only this spring did Takata admit that its airbags were defective and agree to recall tens of millions more vehicles—the largest such recall in American history.
“It is my great privilege to work alongside great product liability lawyers like Rich Newsome, who along with their persistent and brave clients, work every day to ensure that manufacturers' product defect cover ups are exposed and that American consumers are protected,” said Julie Kane, AAJ President-Elect, who presented the award.
The American Association for Justice works to preserve the constitutional right to trial by jury and to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org.