The airbag maker Takata settled a closely watched lawsuit involving the injury and eventual death of a woman whose car crashed in 2014.
The settlement was announced moments before a critical hearing in which a judge in Jacksonville, Fla., could have ordered the company’s chief executive, Shigehisa Takada, to testify in the case.
Even the lawyer representing the family of the victim, Patricia Mincey, said the sudden turn of events was unexpected.
“I had no expectations at all” of a settlement, said the lawyer, Theodore J. Leopold, of the plaintiffs’ law firm Cohen Milstein in Washington. “We were preparing to go to trial.”
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