David Boies, an attorney famous for losing the US Supreme Court suit over the 2000 Bush v. Gore presidential election and for helping gay marriage legalization in California, is among the ones having a lead position in the upcoming civil suits brought by customers against Japan’s Takata Corp.
Him and three other attorneys will have oversight over dozens of cases that were consolidated recently in Miami and were brought against Tokyo-based Takata and the automakers that had installed the supplier’s airbags. Millions of vehicles around the world and in the US belonging to ten carmakers have been recalled because of the possibility that Takata-produced airbag inflators could explode with too much force when deployed, sending metal debris and other shrapnel flying inside the cabin at high velocity. The defect has been linked so far to at least 6 deaths and dozens of injuries, though the company and the automakers have not been able to find the root cause of the flaw yet.
The lawyers will now fight in court to gain access to Takata and automakers’ documents and executives, or ink the settlements if the companies seek to avoid potentially damaging trials. Boies, the chairman of New York-based Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP will be in charge of the class-action claims by owners who said the vehicles lost value because of the life-threatening defect, leading the fight together with Todd A. Smith of Power Rogers & Smith PC in Chicago. Additionally, two lawyers from Florida will take charge of the consolidated personal injury claims.