A Lancaster County man who was killed when his pickup struck a cow last month would still be alive had it not been for the truck’s defective airbag deploying violently, shooting a piece of shrapnel through his neck and spine, his family says in a lawsuit filed this week.
Joel Knight, 52, died Dec. 22 after his 2006 Ford Ranger hit a cow on S.C. 522 as he was driving to work, authorities have said. He was wearing a seatbelt, but an attorney representing Knight’s family says the truck’s airbag – the manufacturer of which is accused in multiple cases of injury and death resulting from defective products – ruptured violently. A piece of shrapnel from the exploding device pierced Knight’s neck and spine.
A suit filed this week by Knight’s estate accuses Ford Motor Company and Tokyo-based Takata Corp. of cutting corners by producing, purchasing and installing airbags they knew were defective and dangerous.
“They’ve been having problems, known defects and deaths since 2003 – for more than a decade,” said Drew Creech of Elrod Pope Law Firm in Rock Hill, which is representing the family. “It’s a problem they’ve known about and they made a deliberate decision not to recall.”